🇺🇸 Election 2024: Crypto Clash

Plus: Japan's Metaplanet adopts Bitcoin

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Good Morning!

Digital assets saw their first inflows in five weeks, as investors try to determine whether the current price action is just a pullback in a wider bull market or if there is more blood in store.

Trump endorsing crypto last week also has the markets talking, with the potential for crypto to become a bipartisan issue.

Let’s jump in.

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Digital asset investment products saw inflows for the first time in five weeks totalling $130m (2 minute read)
After a five-week dry spell, digital asset investment products are finally seeing some action with a fresh influx of US$130 million. The US is hogging the spotlight, raking in US$135 million, despite the old guard Grayscale grappling with its lowest weekly outflows January.

Meanwhile, US regulators are staying quiet regarding the Ethereum ETF applications, stoking rumors that an approval isn't on the horizon—reflected in a modest outflow of US$14 million last week.

Over in Hong Kong, the post-Bitcoin ETF launch buzz is fizzling out, with inflows dwindling to US$19 million, hinting that the initial surge was mostly just seed money.

Trump’s Pro-Crypto Bluster at NFT Gala Lacked Policy Substance (4 minute read)
Donald Trump, once a crypto skeptic, has flipped the script to position himself as the pro-crypto candidate. His pivot from tweeting that cryptos are "based on thin air" to selling millions in NFTs and promoting crypto donations for his campaign highlights a strategic shift.

Amidst promises to champion crypto, Trump's real aim seems to capture the industry’s niche voter base, leveraging the substantial 50 million crypto holders in the U.S. This stance sets him starkly against President Joe Biden’s administration, which through SEC chairman Gary Gensler, remains combative towards the crypto sector.

This move by Trump may deepen crypto’s entanglement in the partisan divide, potentially alienating its original libertarian champions.

Japan’s Metaplanet adopts bitcoin as reserve asset amid yen slump (3 minute read)
Tokyo's Metaplanet is betting big on Bitcoin amidst Japan's ongoing economic woes. Choosing the cryptocurrency as its strategic treasury reserve, the firm is pushing back against Japan's high government debt, lingering negative real interest rates, and a weakening yen, which recently hit a 34-year low despite rate hikes.

This bold move by Metaplanet aims to fortify its financial standing by leveraging Bitcoin's potential as a hedge against economic instability, marking a significant pivot in strategy as Japan grapples with the highest government debt-to-GDP ratio among developed nations, clocking in at 254.6%.

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US Court Seizes 279 North Korea Crypto Accounts as Hackers Use New Malware (2 minute read)
In a decisive strike against global threats, Justice Timothy Kelly of the US District Court for the District of Columbia has greenlit the seizure of 279 crypto accounts linked to North Korean operatives. This bold move escalates the U.S. crackdown on international money laundering and nuclear proliferation.

Stemming from a 2020 initiative, the case exposes how North Korean actors funneled stolen cryptocurrency through exchanges and unhosted wallets globally, skillfully laundering these funds to bypass stringent sanctions. The operation highlights the sophisticated tactics employed by North Korea to convert illicit digital gains into hard cash.

Uniswap founder urges democrats to immediately change Biden’s approach to crypto (2 minute read)
Hayden Adams, founder of Uniswap, is stirring the pot with a bold call to President Biden’s team: pivot hard on crypto or risk falling behind. As the 2024 election looms, Adams argues that Biden is underestimating crypto's electoral impact, while the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are already positioning it as a campaign cornerstone. Adams’ critique highlights a stark contrast in approach; while the Republicans are embracing the crypto wave, the Biden administration, backed by crypto skeptics like Senator Elizabeth Warren and the SEC’s stringent regulations, seems unyielding.

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