The Weekly Wrap: U.S. CPI and ECB interest rates, Ethereum’s PoS merge, Nasdaq survey

Apr 15, 2022

1. Inflation worsens in March and prints new highs as energy costs continue to surge

The Facts:

  • US. CPI hits a new four-decade high in inflation of 8.5% YoY, 0.1% above estimates, and 1.2% MoM followed by a decrease of the treasury yield.
  • Increasing gas prices accounted for more than half of the monthly inflation gain, adding additional price pressure on airfares as travel demand surges.
  • Inflationstarts to hit the labor market as well since pay raises are not able to keep up with inflation anymore and real worker earnings fall by another 0.8%.
  • The ECB left interest rates on the main refinancing operations, the marginal lending and deposit facility unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50%, respectively, yet confirmed an end of its bond buying in the third quarter.

Why it’s important:

It’s ready in a ‘we could ship it and the network probably wouldn’t crash’ way, not in a ‘we’d like to smoothly transition X00B$ of economic activity’ way.

Tim Beiko, Ethereum core developer on the merge (via Twitter)

2. Ethereum Merge most likely won’t happen in June

The Facts:

  • Instead of June 2022, Ethereum’s PoS transition is now expected to happen “in the few months after”.
  • Although being in the “final chapter of PoW”, a specific merge date can’t be set yet before software implementations have been thoroughly tested and remain w/o bugs.

Why it’s important:

  • As the update, comes on the back of a long history of delays beginning in 2019, the PoS transition was never closer, reaching another milestone by realizing the first shadow fork.
  • By shadow forking, a small number of nodes run against both existing testnets and the Ethereum mainnet, maintaining the same state and history and enabling developers to test how the transition would happen in very similar conditions to the shadow-forked network.
  • As three of these shadow forks revealed implementation issues in clients such as sync code and request timeouts, it showcases the importance of these tests to ensure a smooth transition to PoS.
3. Nasdaq survey shows that financial advisors want more Bitcoin exposure

The Facts:

  • A Nasdaq survey of 500 financial advisors resulted in an overwhelming amount of 72% having an interest to increase their digital asset positions if a Bitcoin spot ETF is approved.
  • The surveyed financial advisors are either cryptocurrencies already or consider an allocation to the rather new asset class.
  • However, the survey also exposed an educational gap regarding traditional finance and the emerging asset class, as they lack confidence in their ability to advise clients in crypto.

Why it’s important:

With strong demand beingclearly present having a huge variety of frameworks applying for an ETF, it is most like just a matter of time until a Bitcoin ETF is approved.

  • As CEO of Grayscale, Michael Sonnenshein, phrased it as: “tough to say what the SEC is waiting for”.
  • For instance, bridging the gap until an approval happens, Grayscale plans to launch products targeting alternative areas of crypto.
11.66 TWh

New BTC electricity consumption monthly high in March

In other news
  • Bitcoin becomes legal tender in a special economic zone of Honduras (via Próspera Newsroom)
  • Circle announces $400M Funding Round (via Circle)
  • Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith sentenced to 63 months (via BBC)
  • Coinbase announces BAYC movies (via Decrypt)
  • Binance expands towards Europa, invests $100m in France (via The Block)
  • Luna Foundation buys another ~6639 BTC worth ~$270m (via Bitcoin.com)
  • Musk offers to buy Twitter for $43b (via CNBC)

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