17 March

In a widely telegraphed and anticipated move, the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will lift the fed-funds rate by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 0.25%-0.5% from the current rate of close to zero. This is the first time since December 2018 that the central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate. The Fed also announced that it will reduce its balance sheet “at a coming meeting.”

Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher energy prices and broader price pressures. The implications for the U.S. economy are highly uncertain, but in the near term the invasion and related events are likely to create additional upward pressure on inflation and weigh on economic activity.

The median expectation is now for seven 25-basis point hikes for 2022, which would bring the fund’s rate up to 2.8%. That is about 100 basis points higher than what was expected three months ago. Committee members are also predicting much slower gross domestic product growth for 2022 that what they predicted before. They now see 2.8% growth, down from the 4% growth they estimated in December.

Equity markets do not tend to suffer all that often or all that much, during rate-hike cycles, [and] since the bitcoin/Nasdaq correlation is still holding very strong, I would expect the same thing for cryptocurrencies in general.”

See Also: Cryptos Recover From Drop After Fed Rate Hike; Expect Higher Volatility
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“Zelenskyy legalized crypto in the country, signing into law a bill on virtual assets, amid a frenzy of digital asset donations to support the country’s defense against a Russian invasion.

The law determines the legal status, classification, ownership and regulators of virtual assets, as well as setting registration requirements for crypto services providers. Exchanges will be able to operate legally, and banks will open accounts for them.

The Ministry of Finance is working on amendments to the country’s tax and civil codes to fully launch the market for virtual assets, the statement said.”

“The company will seek to strengthen its presence in the Latin American country and comply with local regulations, according to CEO Changpeng Zhao. Speaking at EthereumRio, Zhao also said the company is looking to strengthen its 100-person team in Brazil.

Zhao’s statements come after Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire Brazilian securities brokerage Simpaul Investimentos on Monday. On his visit to Brazil, Zhao met with regulators and politicians, including the governor of the Brazilian state of São Paulo.

Last week, Zhao said that Binance plans to buy more companies in non-crypto industries as a way of expanding the appeal of digital assets.”

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“The NFT staple is getting its own token and DAO just days after BAYC parent company Yuga Labs acquired the IP for CryptoPunks. Yuga Labs plans to “adopt ApeCoin as the primary token for all new products and services,” but press materials insist that ApeCoin is really only the product of a new organizational unit called ApeCoin DAO.

A press release took great pains to distance ApeDAO’s token launch from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, presumably for legal reasons. Club-style NFTs with perks for long-term members can start to resemble investment contracts.

The token will be owned and operated by ApeCoin DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that gives token holders governance rights over the DAO’s “Ecosystem Fund.” Web 3 celebs including investor Alexis Ohanian have said they’d be on the council initially overseeing the token’s governance.

A trademark filing for the token indicates a plan for the DAO to sell physical merchandise as well as virtual goods, including jewelry, books, clothing and beverages.”

See Also: The Sandbox Metaverse Token Jumps 8% Amid HSBC, Paris Hilton Tie Up

Edward Snowden has previously criticized CBDCs, describing them as “cryptofascist currencies” that could “casually [annihilate] the savings of every wage-worker.” Snowden again weighed in on the rise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) when he spoke at Camp Ethereal 2022 last week, expounding on why these new assets are problematic.

With CBDCs, we don’t realize that we have immediately been subordinated and collectivized to the central actor in the economy. Our freedom from permission becomes ever more finite and ever more limited.

The idea that Canada of all places would do this—and I think most people see Canada as a pretty enlightened government—is really an illustration of the concern. Whether you’re for or against this particular protest or protest movement is really secondary to the problem that, at the flip of a switch, we are vulnerable to being unable to take anything out of our wallet.

A CBDC is a digital version of a fiat currency (like the US dollar or euro), backed by a central bank. They are centralized by design, whereas cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are decentralized.”