De-dollarization Gains Momentum
The past month has been quite interesting on the global platform as the narrative about the de-dollarization of the world economy continues to gain momentum.
Saudi Arabia recently entered into a trade alliance with China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and four central Asian nations in a move to further reduce reliance on the US dollar.
Meanwhile, the BRICS nations are collaborating to develop a new currency that will be discussed at the upcoming BRICS leaders' summit in August.
In Russia, the Chinese Yuan has overtaken the US dollar as the most traded foreign currency for Q1 according to data from the Moscow exchange.
So, what’s to expect here? And how will this impact crypto?
On one hand, it is almost obvious that potential de-dollarization could lead to a loss of confidence in the USD as the global reserve currency, which will erode the US's economic power on the global stage.
On the other hand, by reducing the dominance of one currency, it is likely that we enter an era where the world will depend on more than just one currency for global trade.
We’re not here to paint doom and gloom because even if such a transition will happen, it will probably take a long time.
However, without interpreting events, this latest series of events is probably the toughest blow that has been dealt to the US Dollar in decades and is likely something that will spring confidence in strong and long-lasting viable alternatives like Bitcoin and other crypto.
Ethereum’s Shapella Upgrade Around the Corner
In the crypto market, Bitcoin’s price continues to hover between $27K and $28.5K, but Ether seems to be showing a stronger price action as the Shapella upgrade quickly approaches on April 12, 2023.
Image source: Coingecko
The much-awaited Ethereum upgrade will allow ETH staking withdrawals. Currently, over 17.9 million ETH is staked in the beacon chain.
What most crypto natives are still wondering is whether this will have a positive or negative impact on Ether's valuation.
The pendulum could swing both ways. Enabling ETH staking withdrawals means that the locked ETH could enter the market, increasing selling pressure and ultimately pushing the price down.
On the other hand, the upgrade will also likely increase the incentive to stake ETH since that decision has up until now been reserved for those looking willing to keep their stake illiquid.
Lately, Liquid Staking Derivative (LSD) tokens like LDO, FRAX, and RPL have likely as investors bet on the successful implementation of the upcoming Shapella upgrade.
Binance Troubles Continue …
Last week, we reported that Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao was sued by the US CFTC on multiple charges. Since then, the volumes of this leading crypto exchange have plummeted by around 15%, although it still maintains a comfortable lead over other global exchanges in the market.
But what's particularly concerning are the recent rumors circulating on Crypto Twitter (CT) that Interpol has issued a red notice for Changpeng Zhao (CZ).
While the Binance team, led by CZ, has emerged to dispute these rumors as FUD, the exchange is certainly facing turbulent times.
Donald Trump Indicted with 34 counts of felony
As the dollar continues to take a beating, former US President Donald Trump appeared before a New York court where he is facing 34 counts of felony. Trump is the first former US president to be indicted, although he pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges. With the 2024 elections around the corner, it seems that the US might have to endure a while longer before catching a break.
Artificial Intelligence developments under attack
A group of over 1,000 individuals, composed of AI experts, researchers, and supporters, have come together to request a temporary halt on the development of "giant" AIs, such as GPT-4, for a period of at least six months. The goal is to thoroughly examine and minimize the potential risks associated with such systems. The open letter conveying this demand has been signed by several prominent AI figures, including Elon Musk, who co-founded OpenAI, the research organization behind ChatGPT and GPT-4.
Crypto politicization - Senator Warren’s Anti-crypto army
As part of her re-election campaign, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has announced plans to "build an anti-crypto army." Warren, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee that oversees the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has been leading a series of anti-bitcoin and crypto bills introduced in the past year. In contrast, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida recently proposed legislation that would prohibit the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in his state. DeSantis claims that this measure is necessary to protect the financial privacy of Floridians.
Paxful Halts its peer-to-peer BTC marketplace
Paxful, one of the leading BTC peer-to-peer marketplaces, announced through the company’s CEO Ray Youseff that they have suspended operations and are uncertain whether they will resume. Speaking on Twitter spaces following the surprising news, Youseff cited regulatory concerns sparked by a lawsuit from his co-founder Artur Schaback, which has made it difficult to ‘guarantee the security of the platform’ and therefore ‘had to go down’.