9 March

“Former Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department official, and now Credit Suisse (CS) short-term rate strategist, Zoltan Pozsar has written the U.S. is in a commodity crisis that is giving rise to a new world monetary order that will ultimately weaken the current dollar-based system and lead to higher inflation in the West.

This crisis is not like anything we have seen since President [Richard] Nixon took the U.S. dollar off gold in 1971.

As the initial Bretton Woods era (1944-1971) was backed by gold, and Bretton Woods II (1971-present) backed by “inside money” (essentially U.S. government paper), said Pozsar, Bretton Woods III will be backed by “outside money” (gold and other commodities).

Pozsar marks the end of the current monetary regime as the day the G7 nations seized Russia’s foreign exchange reserves. What had previously been thought of as risk-free became risk-free no more as non-existent credit risk was instantly substituted for very real confiscation risk.

What occurred surely isn’t lost on China, and Pozsar sees the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) faced with two alternatives to protect its interests – either sell Treasury bonds to buy Russian commodities, or do its own quantitative easing, i.e., print renminbi to buy Russian commodities. Pozsar expects both scenarios mean higher yields and higher inflation in the West.”

See Also: Gold Market TA
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“President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order this week summarizing the U.S. government’s strategy for dealing with cryptocurrencies. The White House has been working on coordinating the efforts of different federal agencies since last year.

The order would direct federal agencies to consider potential regulatory changes, in addition to the national security and economic implications of cryptocurrencies. Federal agencies would report later this year on their progress.

The White House has been under pressure to play a more central role in setting policies for and regulating digital assets.”

See Also: European Parliament Proposes Expanding ‘Travel Rule’ to Crypto Transactions of All Sizes
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Visa, Mastercard and PayPal are all suspending operations in Russia, the companies announced Saturday. Crypto companies have by and large resisted calls for unilaterally blocking all Russian residents.

Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation.

This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values.

Russia’s central bank said in a statement that Visa and Mastercard cards would continue to work within Russia after the credit card processors announced their suspensions. Cross border transactions are not expected to work.”

See Also: Russian Banks Switch To Chinese Card System As AmEx Joins Visa & MasterCard In Suspending Russian Operations

“Binance set up its own fiat-to-crypto payments provider, Bifinity, to help businesses become “crypto-ready.”

Bifinity, which was officially established last year and which was launched on Monday, supports 50 cryptocurrencies and all major payment methods, including Visa and Mastercard. Merchants will be able to use Bifinity’s APIs (application programming interfaces) to “get their business crypto-ready,” enabling them to accept payments in crypto.

Binance also said it fully reopened euro and sterling transactions over the single euro payments area (SEPA) and U.K’s Faster Payments Service networks as of 11:00 UTC.”

“Don’t look now, but there are signs that Ethereum’s high-gas-fee woes may be abating. A series of so-called Layer 2 innovations have begun to offer a fix—the latest in the form of StarkNet, which is now integrated into crypto infrastructure giant Alchemy’s development kit.

We’re driving towards Vitalik’s vision of five-cent transactions.

Alchemy’s integration of StarkNet is significant because the company provides behind-the-scenes support to a large swath of Web3, with customers ranging from banks to crypto exchanges. Alchemy clients now will have an option to build services using the low-cost StarkNet tools—a development that Garland suggests could supercharge Web3 app development.

Alchemy isn’t the only major crypto player to deploy StarkNet—Immutable, an NFT gaming startup that just raised $200 million, is counting on StarkNet to make its transaction-heavy operations affordable.”

Goldman Sachs (GS) is offering interested clients access to an ether (ETH) fund issued by Galaxy Digital, according to regulatory documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday. In June, Galaxy agreed to funnel liquidity to Goldman Sachs’ bitcoin (BTC) futures offering.

CAIS Capital LLC, an alternative investments platform, will [also] receive “placement fees” for referring clients to the institutional fund, Tuesday’s SEC filing said. It’s separately involved in a different Galaxy-backed Ethereum fund whose filing also hit Tuesday.”

“Agrotoken, an Argentina-based agricultural commodities tokenization platform, expects that over the next six months, 1,000 Argentine farmers will receive Santander credits collateralized with tokens based on soybeans (SOYA), corn (CORA) and wheat (WHEA) launched by Agrotoken.

This is the first time a financial services platform has used blockchain technology and crypto assets to expand the agricultural credit market and unlock farmers’ business potential.

Santander and Agrotoken plan to offer the crypto-backed loans in Brazil in June, and in the U.S. in late 2022, noting that the three countries together comprise 70% of global wheat, corn and soybean production.

“Grewal points out that despite the sanctions put forth by governments over the years, laundering of fiat currency through traditional financial institutions remains the most sought-after method for sanction evasion.

On the other hand, Grewal argued that digital asset transactions are inherently public, traceable and permanent — an important feature that can be leveraged by governing authorities to detect and deter evasion.

Trying to obscure large transactions using open and transparent crypto technology would be far more difficult than other established methods (e.g., using fiat, art, gold, or other assets).”

See Also: Crypto Still Isn’t Helping Russian Oligarchs Evade Sanctions
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“Bitcoin (BTC) was higher Tuesday as traditional markets including stocks and commodities swung wildly, with investors reacting to U.S. President Joe Biden’s announced plan to join the U.K. in banning Russian imports of oil. Crude oil prices rose 5% Tuesday.

Bitcoin traders were monitoring the surge in oil prices along with the latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Experts posit that the U.S. could turn to Venezuela or Saudi Arabia to alleviate soaring gasoline prices in light of the Russian oil ban.

BTC managed to turn against the tide, winning back the initial failure, despite the decline in stock indices.”

A group of 35 shareholders of Ethereum giant ConsenSys AG (CAG) have filed for a special audit of a 2020 deal that saw JPMorgan Chase acquire an “influential” [10%] stake in two of its flagship products. The deal, known within CAG as Project North Star, resulted in financial institutions (JPMorgan) winning a significant slice in the company’s lucrative intellectual property (IP), specifically MetaMask and Infura.

Original CAG insiders reckon the deal was ‘to the detriment of the minority shareholders of CAG and to the benefit of Joseph Lubin personally.’ Indeed, Project North Star has proven incredibly lucrative for CSI shareholders like JPMorgan. A year after the transaction, the IP in question was used to raise funds for CSI at a valuation of $3 billion. Ethereum co-founder Lubin is the majority shareholder of CAG and CSI.

The former ConsenSys employees are invoking an article of the Swiss Code of Obligations which, if successful, may render the deal void.”

See Also: Chico Crypto on JPMorgan Deal (Video)