Bitfinex Alpha | All Eyes on ETH While Economic Outlook Remains Mixed - Bitfinex blog
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Bitfinex Alpha | All Eyes on ETH While Economic Outlook Remains Mixed

The US economy has seen a mixed bag of indicators in recent months, with some signs of slowing growth and others that indicate continued resilience. The labour market, in particular, has seen a decline in job openings to a 21-month low of 1.67, although the number of job openings per unemployed worker remains relatively high. A ratio close to pre-pandemic levels would aid the Federal Reserve in its attempt to tame inflation.

These efforts were not aided by the recent surprise announcement by OPEC+, the organisation of oil-producing countries, of a production cut of over one million barrels of oil produced per day.

This not only could hinder global economic growth and cause oil prices to rise. It also risks reigniting tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, crucial measures of business conditions in both the US service and manufacturing sectors have declined in recent months, indicating decelerating growth as the economy faces mounting pressure from high interest rates.

Despite these challenges, the March employment report showed a historically resilient labour market with total job growth of 236,000, albeit at a slower pace. This strength has not resulted in a wage-price spiral, as wage growth is beginning to suggest an impending slowdown is on its way. This provides the Fed with room to strategically pause its efforts to restore price stability this year.

Overall, these indicators suggest a mixed economic outlook for the US, with some signs of resilience and others of deceleration. It will be crucial to monitor these indicators in the coming months to assess the health and direction of the US economy

In crypto markets, Ether is seeing the considerable activity ahead of the Shapella upgrade scheduled to take place this week. In the options market, the Ether put-call ratio surged to its highest level since May 2022, indicating a possible accumulation of bearish wagers in anticipation of the upcoming upgrades to the Ethereum network.

In contrast, on-chain data for Bitcoin suggests that major cryptocurrency exchanges have observed net negative BTC flows into Bitcoin wallets. This shift in preference towards holding Bitcoin in a cold wallet rather than keeping it on an exchange could signal increased confidence in the cryptocurrency’s long-term potential.

Similarly, Bitcoin’s short-term realised holder (STH) realised price is currently at around $22,500, while the long-term holder realised price is around $19,000. This is a bullish sign and a healthy development for the Bitcoin market, given that there is likely to be considerable support against any further declines in these levels. 

In crypto news this week, the US government sold over 9,861 bitcoins seized from the Silk Road case for over $215 million. In South Korea, authorities confiscated assets worth around $160 million from eight individuals employed at the failed Terraform Labs, including co-founder Daniel Shin.

Meanwhile, the Decentralised Applications (Dapp) industry saw the DeFi and NFT sectors continue to grow in popularity, with more people adopting these Dapps. After Twitter owner Elon Musk decided to replace the platform’s logo with that of the Dogecoin (DOGE) logo, a coin he has given public support to previously, the token closed the day 21.42 percent higher, overtaking Cardano (ADA) in market cap and becoming the seventh-largest cryptocurrency in the sector.

Finally, MicroStrategy, the software firm headed by CEO Michael Saylor, announced that it had acquired an additional 1,045 Bitcoin for $23.9 million, reaffirming its commitment to investing in the cryptocurrency. With these recent developments, the cryptocurrency market continues to show strong growth potential and increased interest from investors.

Happy trading!