Market Commentary - April 12th, 2024

Crypto Market

Good afternoon from CCML Trading. As we navigate the ever evolving and complex landscape of cryptocurrencies, it's crucial to dive deeper into the currents shaping the market. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the foundational pillars, continue to command significant attention, reflecting broader trends and underlying market sentiments. Meanwhile, the ETF market is burgeoning, signalling a transformative phase for cryptocurrencies as they edge closer to mainstream financial recognition.

The Steady Titans: Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin, the alpha of the crypto pack, remains the preeminent force within the cryptocurrency market, with its value and market movements often serving as a barometer for the sectors overall health. Recently, we’ve seen Bitcoin maintain it’s strength, despite the volatility and chop that defines this market currently. The anticipation around the halving has injected a fresh wave of capital and interest, underscoring Bitcoin’s scarcity mechanism. This event, a scheduled supply squeeze cutting the miner reward in half, is no small blip for traders. Historically, halvings precede significant Bullrun's, fuelled by reduced supply and speculative interest. As we inch closer to this milestone, the markets have been jittery, with price action reminiscent of a roller coaster.  

On the Ethereum front, the chains relentless pace has kept traders on their toes. Ethereum continues to show resilience, particularly in anticipation surrounding an ETF decision. The active supply of Ether is posturing itself to trend lower, suggesting a tightening supply squeeze as more Ethereum gets locked in staking. Meanwhile, the SEC delivered the Wells notice to Uniswap marking a significant moment, underscoring the increased scrutiny of Defi by regulatory bodies. This development is particularly noteworthy as it signals the SECs intent to possibly pursue legal action, questioning the operational frameworks of Defi entities and their compliance with current regulatory frameworks. For traders and investors, this introduces a layer of uncertainty, as enforcement actions could have implications on the liquidity and functionality and overall viability of these platforms.

The narrative surrounding the crypto ETFs continues to be a game-changer signalling a potential floodgate of institutional and retail investment. Meanwhile, the international interest in ETFs, notably Hong Kong, highlights a global shift towards embracing crypto within traditional frameworks. We expect to closely monitor these markets and developments as they potentially set the pace for a new era of crypto trading dynamics.  

The unexpected twist: Memecoins. In the shadow of these giants, a different breed of digital assets continues to take the mainstage. The rise of memecoins underscores a pivotal truth: in the realm of crypto, attention is as valuable as gold. These memecoins thrive in virality and community engagement which have propelled market caps exceeding 1B+.


On the macroeconomic stage, we’re keeping a sharp eye on the divergent pressures on the markets. US inflation has ticked up slightly above expectations at 3.5% year-over-year, compared to 3.2% in the previous month, indicating that inflation remains persistently high and may take longer to subdue. This stickiness isn’t just a minor hiccup: it’s realigning market expectations across the board, pushing out the timeline for the anticipated rate cuts to later in the fall. Additionally, the excess liquidity in the Reverse Repo Market is like a tell-tale sign of choppy waters ahead, suggesting that the market isn’t quite ready for a dip in rates yet. Keep a watch on commercial real estate and the regional banks. Any signs of stress here could force the Fed’s hand early.

Over in Asian, the Japanese Yen continues to depreciate against the U.S. dollar, alongside rising interest rates in Japan. This scenario has stoked fears among investors that the longstanding carry trade – borrowing JPY to invest in USD and EURO markets – may start to unwind. Such a development could increase rates in both USD and EURO markets, potentially leading to heightened volatility across equities, crypto, precious metals, and fixed income markets.

Further east, China remains under the investor microscope as its inflation figures continue to signal economic weakness, particularly in the real estate sector. Inflation numbers this past Wednesday showed a rise of just 0.1% year-over-year, versus 0.4% expected, with troubles in entities like Evergrande – who face accusations of inflating revenue for loans – highlighting deeper economic concern.  

Equities, Fixed Income, FX and Commodities

This week's trading deck felt the shock from the stubbornly high CPI data, causing a sharp dip in the S&P and Nasdaq by nearly 1% on Wednesday. Though the market clawed back some ground on Thursday, the opening bell on Friday saw a sea of red. This turbulence steered by hot CPI data, coupled with robust employment figures, are poised to heavily influence the narrative surrounding the upcoming Presidential election, likely dominating headlines. Today also marks the launch of earnings season, with market giants like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo reporting stronger-than-expected revenues.  

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar continues to show strength against major European currencies and the Canadian dollar, with USD/CAD currently trading around 1.3760, marking a nearly 4% appreciation year-to-date. Gold, meanwhile, continues to chart its course near historic highs, now trading at $2,427 per ounce, up over 17% YTD. An interesting tidbit: Costco has ventured into selling 1-ounce gold bars, with sales skyrocketing to over $200 million a month across its markets.

News We’ve been reading

Bitcoin Runes: A New Era for Fungible Tokens on Bitcoin – At the time of the Bitcoin halving, the Runes protocol will be launched, ushering in a new era of tokens on the Bitcoin network. - link - @bybit

DeFi Exchange Uniswap Receives Enforcement Notice From the SEC – Uniswap was hit with an expected Wells Notice by the SEC, Uniswap will now have to make its case in the fight for Defi. - link - @coindesk

Recent settlements with US Regulators has resulted in top crypto exchanges to Move Beyond Settlements With U.S. Regulators – Top crypto exchanges are looking for ways to improve their compliance departments. - link - @WSJ

Biggest fraud in Chinese history? Beijing accuses Evergrande of inflating revenues by $78 billion – Troubled real estate developer Evergrande's debt restructuring is now put on pause due to possible fraudulent financial statements – link - @CNN