It’s been another week and another hit to inflation and interest rates.
Now it feels like it’s been enough rounds to rival the shots fired by John Wick. In ALL 4 movies.
You’ll want to take a seat for this news round-up. This one packs a punch!
Here’s what’s in today’s issue:
- Rebecca shares her thoughts on the latest inflation and interest rate shock, Stoner Cats vs the SEC, Deutsche Bank diving into crypto custody, more Binance US drama, & the Polygon 2.0 kickoff.
- Altcoin alpha by David.
- This week’s airdrop by Jesse.
- Sam has an NFT report on the NFT artist William Mapan.
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🔺Inflation And Interest Rate Shock
Holy moly, annual inflation in the US jumped big time this month.
This means it’s now gone from 3% in June, up to 3.2% in July, up to 3.7% in August.
The real kicker is it came in above the estimate. With oil back up to $90, energy prices are where most of the increase has come from.
Energy has risen 5.6%, an increase which included gasoline prices surging by 10.6%.
On a more positive note, core inflation is still coming down—now at 4.3% vs. 4.7%.
Important date: On September 20th the US interest rate is announced.
The European Central Bank (ECB) also shocked the market by raising its interest rates to 4%, setting a new record in the process.
Going into the decision, markets were divided. The reason for the surprise hike is an increase in the inflation forecast.
The Euro area is expected to see inflation averaging at 5.6% in 2023, up from a previous estimate of 5.4%.
The good news here is a hint from the ECB that rates have peaked.
🥊 Stoner Cats vs. SEC
Stoner Cats has been sued by the SEC! Damn! Gary Gensler is on a crypto rampage.
If you’re staring at your screen with a blank look, let me fill you in.
Remember the movie, Cats? Nah, I don’t either.
But this is another A-list celebrity project about cats.
An NFT-based animated web series where a group of cats get high from their marijuana-smoking owner.
The show starred big names such as Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Rock, Seth MacFarlane and…Vitalik Buterin.
How did it get the big names? Well, Stoner Cats was created by Mila Kunis’ production company, Orchard Farm Productions.
The project launched under the name Stoner Cats LLC in 2021 and sold more than 10,000 NFTs for $8 million in profit. SEC, no likey!
Now, the SEC has charged the project for selling unregistered securities and slapped the company with a $1M fine.
The SEC also took note that the NFTs were royalty generating with a 2.5% royalty fee each time the original NFT changed hands. This meant NFT buyers had spent over $20 million over at least 10,000 transactions.
But, the SEC ain’t united on this one. SEC Commissioners Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda have issued a public statement comparing NFTs to 1970s Star Wars collectibles.
What happens to Stoner Cats now? Stoner Cats has agreed to burn the NFTs it holds, the community will cease to exist, but the video content will stay—it’s hosted on Arweave.
The $1M fine will be turned into a “Fair Fund” to compensate investors.
First, it was Impact Theory NFTs, now it’s Stoner Cats NFTs. Who will the SEC charge next?
Do you own a Stoner Cat NFT? Reply to this email and let me know.
🇩🇪 Deutsche Bank Dives Into Crypto Custody
$1.4 trillion banking giant Deutsche Bank is bringing crypto custody to institutions.
The bank has teamed up with Taurus, a Swiss crypto startup to use their custody and tokenization tech to manage crypto for clients. This is massive news but has been in the pipeline for quite some time…
Taurus announced the completion of a $65M Series B funding round back in February this year.
Whilst it was led by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank also became an investor. Then, Deutsche Bank applied for a crypto custody licence back in June with Germany’s regulator.
But Deutsche Bank’s interest in crypto has been out in the open since 2021. A World Economic Forum Report from 2021 takes note of Deutsche Bank’s aim to create a “fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients.”
With Europe moving ahead with its MiCA regulations, now is the time for the institutions to get on board.
Deutsche Bank will initially offer custody services for select cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. If all goes well, it’s clear they’ve got more up their sleeve.
😱 More Binance US Drama
Binance US is that naughty school kid that spends most of his day in detention.
The SEC is accusing Binance US of not playing ball with their investigation. But what the SEC has failed to realise is that Binance US is rather busy self-destructing.
Just this week:
- CEO Brian Shroder has left the building
- A third of staff are being laid off
- 2 execs have left the company from legal and risk (Legal Head and Chief Risk Officer)
Woah! I wouldn’t wanna be CZ right now.
Whilst Binance US is breaking, Coinbase is cranking it up.
Brian Armstrong has confirmed that Coinbase will add support for Bitcoin Lightning.
He had previously shared back in August that the team was looking into it. Now we have an answer and honestly, it’s about damn time.
Coinbase has also been busy upgrading its Advanced Trade feature and is encouraging UK traders to try it out for free!
The exchange has launched zero-fee trading for UK customers until October 8—hooray!
🎬 Polygon 2.0 Kicks Off With 3 Proposals
And action! Polygon 2.0 is coming in early Q4 as the team has launched 3 new proposals (PIPs) for the community to vote on.
If approved, these proposals kick off MATIC’s conversion to POL.
A lot is about to go down. Here are the details you need to know:
Proposal #1: Polygon 2.0 Phase 0 (PIP-18)
This is the proposed technical roadmap. It’s the journey Polygon will take to become a network of interconnected ZK-powered Layer-2 chains.
The roadmap will involve several (gradual) changes to the Ethereum contracts:
- Upgrade from MATIC to POL
- POL as the gas token for Polygon PoS
- POL as the staking token for Polygon PoS
- Launch of POL staking layer
Proposal #2: POL token (PIP-17)
This is the MATIC to POL conversion:
- POL will be a 1:1 migration of the existing MATIC token
- An initial supply of 10 billion
- Yearly emission of 2% equally distributed between validator staking rewards and a community treasury
Proposal #3: Update Polygon PoS Native Token to POL (PIP-19)
This is the Polygon PoS upgrade:
- upgrade the native gas token on Polygon PoS
- upgrade the native MATIC bridge contract
- upgrade POL to become a claim on the bridge’s POL, not the bridge’s MATIC
Losing confidence in Crypto? Don’t worry—the next phase of Web3 and DeFi is almost here. From September 27, Radix launches its Babylon mainnet upgrade, including a live wallet and public smart contracts. Over 50 ecosystem projects will follow.
This marks a new era for Web3 and DeFi user experiences.
Want to learn more? Visit our site to explore the Radix full-stack and reignite your excitement for Crypto.”
Existing Projects / Tokens
- Aptos [APT] will soon be hosting SushiSwap on its blockchain. Aptos is the first non-EVM blockchain to be tapped by SushiSwap. Having said that, Aptos is about to issue 20 million APT (worth $100M) into the open market in November and December. So stay frosty. Aptos is the newish L1 blockchain created by former Meta developers.
- Arbitrum [ARB] has three L3 blockchains deploying soon on its infrastructure: (1) Syndr, a derivatives DEX, (2) Sanko GameCorp, gaming; and, (3) Volatilis Technology, a money market and DeFi ecosystem. Bullish. More L3 traffic means more demand for Arbitrum.
- Creditcoin [CTC] just launched their 2.0 mainnet, which primarily entails a transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. In celebration, the blockchain is currently hosting a 150K CTC mainnet incentive program. Creditcoin is a credit, lending, and borrowing blockchain network for un-banked individuals.
- DYDX wrapped up testnet #2 and started testnet #3 this week on Cosmos. The testing is in preparation for dYdX’s launch of its own blockchain within the Cosmos ecosystem, which is expected for some time this year. dYdX is the heavyweight DEX that started on Ethereum.
- Vela Exchange [VELA] is officially live on Base. Vela says that Base users enjoy mobile-friendly trading, 30 pairs split amongst three asset classes, a silky-smooth UI, and other features. Vela is the leveraged (up to 250X) derivatives DEX that started on Arbitrum.
New Projects / Tokens
- Mountain Protocol [USDM] launched Monday. USDM is an ERC-20 dollar stablecoin that’s backed by US short-term treasury bills. USDM is currently paying 5% APY because the protocol passes the t-bill yield through to USDM holders. Developers say USDM is functional and liquid on multiple DEXs and DeFi protocols. Mountain Protocol is backed by multiple crypto venture funds, including Castle Island and Coinbase. JP Morgan currently serves as the reserve custodian.
Follow the Big Money
On September 7th, Coinbase Ventures — via the Base Ecosystem Fund — announced their first six investments. According to Coinbase, these six projects were selected out of more than 800 applicants. If the big boys are willing to invest in these early stage projects, then there’s likely some solid alpha here.
ShieldPad is the First Permissionless Launchpad on Base, offering a decentralized platform that streamlines token creation and initial token sales. It caters to both tech-savvy users and those without coding skills, providing an intuitive interface for effortless navigation through the terminal to launch their tokens.
ShieldPad is designed to ensure a seamless and successful launch for every project with a suite of services that are affordable, effective, and completely decentralized.
ShieldPad choose BASE because of it’s scalability, security, low fees, and growing community. ShieldPad has just kicked off its Testnet Airdrop this week. Offering a pre-launch campaign that gives users a chance to earn $tSPAD tokens through a variety of engaging tasks.
Connect your wallet, claim your tokens from the faucet, connect with Twitter, and join any public pool to participate. There’s currently 30,000,000 SPAD tokens up for grabs.
Check out the Complete Testnet Guide to get started.
NFT Art: Who Is William Mapan?
William Mapan is a digital artist who specializes in generative art and has released several notable NFT collections and 1/1 pieces.
His work is very collectible, includes distinctive collections such as Anticyclone and Strands of Solitude, and this month saw the release of the Distance collection, while next month will bring the release of further new work on the Verse platform.
William Mapan’s artworks may also be of interest to anyone looking at high quality NFT art for long-term investment purposes.
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Thank you so much for your support, and I truly hope that today’s issue will give you insights needed to help you master your wealth.
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