Weekly News Wrap Up
Happy New Year! Markets were in recess mode in the final week of 2022 with limited macroeconomic events and thin trading volume. Sweeping COVID infections in China triggered renewed entry restrictions on Chinese tourists among popular travel destinations like Italy, Japan and the US. The JPY reversed some of its earlier gains from the previous week as BOJ minutes showed that raising the yield-curve-control target was more aimed at keeping stimulus rather than starting normalization. In crypto, extreme weather conditions in the US temporarily affected Bitcoin miners, and BTC.com and BitKeep crypto wallets were hacked separately.
SPX -0.17% and NASDAQ -0.29% in the final week of 2022. BTC -0.77% and ETH -1.52% amid lower trading volume, trading below $17,000 and hovering at $1,200 respectively.
Looking ahead, we have Dec FOMC minutes and PMI numbers this week. As mentioned previously, near-term data points we will be watching are: US CPI DEC on 12 Jan, US PPI on 18 Jan, US Core PCE DEC on 27 Jan and FOMC on 01 Feb.
- Project Hamilton, the research project of the United States Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced its conclusion before Christmas 2022. The two-year project looked at the technical aspects of a hypothetical United States digital dollar central bank digital currency, or CBDC. MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) — the organization that had partnered with the Boston Fed — is expected to hold a “research release” on Jan. 12, 2023. Register here if you are interested in attending virtually.
- Japan to seek feedback on local listing of “foreign” stablecoins, Nikkei reported. The Financial Services Agency is seeking public opinion on the new framework until 31 Jan 2023, and will come into force later in the year. Local exchanges do not currently list stablecoins like USDC and USDT issued by foreign entities.
- Bloomberg: US Justice Department launches criminal probe into $400 million FTX hack. The criminal probe is separate from the fraud case against FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, the report added.
Our View: hopefully the probe will finally shed some light on the alleged hack and determine if it was an “inside job”, as many speculators have claimed.
- Bitcoin mining hash rate temporarily plunges more than 30% amid America’s big winter storm. The mean hash rate – a measure of how much computing power is being used to process transactions – of the Bitcoin network dropped to 155 EH/s from 230 EH/s, according to data from CoinMetrics. The hash rate has since recovered at time of writing.
Our View: hash rate is an indicator of the overall security of a blockchain network, as well as the mining difficulty for miners to earn block rewards. This event highlights the importance of geographical diversification in mining operations.
- BTC.com reports $3 million cyberattack. The seventh-largest Bitcoin mining pool said that its client fund services were unaffected. The attack occurred on 3 Dec, with attackers stealing around $700,000 in client assets and $2.3 million in the company’s assets. The mining pool’s parent firm, BIT Mining Limited, made the official announcement on 26 Dec.
BitKeep crypto wallets hacked after thieves create ‘unofficial’ Android app. The theft appears to have occurred on unofficial APK package downloads that were hijacked and installed with code implanted by hackers. Some $8 million in assets have been stolen, according to PeckShield, a blockchain security services company.
Our View: security vulnerabilities continue to be exploited in crypto – stay alert and stay safe this holiday season!
Our best strategy for the moment is to take at least 1-3 years in Moderate Portfolio because it has a good defense with 50% Fixed Deposit , 30% In DCD and 20% in Staking because we still have potential return in DCD and Staking especially in BTC.
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