They Are Coming Sooner Than You Think!
Here’s a stat to send a shiver down your spine this Sunday: 93% of central banks are working on a central bank digital currency or CBDC. This and many other disturbing revelations are contained in a recent report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the so-called bank for central banks. Yes, you should be worried.
The appearance of this report is particularly timely, given that the Federal Reserve’s new fast payments system, FedNow, was launched just three days ago. While FedNow will certainly make life easier for most Americans, there are worrying signs that it could be a precursor to a full-blown digital dollar. You can check out our recent video on FedNow for the full lowdown.
But, back to today’s video. In it, we comb through the BIS report and highlight its key findings. The BIS surveyed 86 of the world’s largest central banks and asked them a number of questions, not only about their CBDC plans, but also about stablecoins and crypto. The answers reveal a lot about the state of CBDC development and progress across the world. The report and its findings also contain huge potential ramifications for crypto - particularly intriguing considering what is due to come into effect on the 1st January 2025…
You can watch that video here.
📈 Crypto Market Forecast 📈
It feels like the calm before the storm, and not just in crypto. Lots of macro factors appear to be coming to the fore. For starters, Russia pulled out of a deal to allow grain from Ukraine to be sent safely to the developing world, presumably in response to the attack on the Crimean bridge. This is likely to cause inflation and unrest in developing countries, which are already struggling as it is.
We also got confirmation recently from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the US will not be easing any of its trade restrictions on China. According to Bloomberg, China refused to ‘address the concerns’ that led to the tariffs being implemented, which is what we speculated on in our recent video about China. This suggests that tensions between the US and China will continue to simmer.
This ties into another peculiar headline. TSMC (the Taiwanese company that makes almost all of the world’s advanced microchips) has delayed the opening of its US plant until 2025, citing a ‘shortage of skilled labour’. Given the geopolitical context, this delay potentially incentivizes the US to protect Taiwan from a Chinese invasion (no TSMC, no US plant).
On that note, the current US administration is reportedly planning on introducing a label for devices that notes whether they are safe from cyber attacks. Logically, the only reason why they would do this is if they think the near-term risk of a cyber attack is very real. It just so happens that China recently hacked emails belonging to US officials (allegedly).
Speaking of the current administration, it seems the SEC’s loss against Ripple hasn’t stopped the regulator from continuing its anti-crypto crusade. Chairman Gary Gensler recently noted that he will continue pushing for ‘crypto compliance’. This suggests that the SEC is going to continue issuing enforcement actions for the foreseeable future.
Regardless, comments like these are creating significant regulatory uncertainty in the US, so much so that NASDAQ recently dropped its plans to offer crypto custody services. This is more significant than you think, because the recent spot Bitcoin ETF applications suggest that the crypto custody rules are clear enough. If they’re not, this is not the best sign.
In any case, the clock for those spot Bitcoin ETF applications has officially started ticking. The SEC now has 45 days to approve (though it’s never been clear if it’s 45 regular days or 45 business days). Assuming it’s 45 business days, this means the SEC will approve, deny, or delay its decision on these applications come mid-September.
A lot could happen between now and then of course, and the big risk on everyone’s mind has been Binance. Besides laying off employees, the exchange has reportedly been scaling back employee benefits, presumably in preparation for hefty settlements with authorities around the world. Such settlements may not be enough, however.
It’s easy to forget that the SEC has yet to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF because of concerns around spot market manipulation of BTC. Newsflash, but most of BTC’s trading volume takes place outside of the US and against the USDT stablecoin, which is also offshore. Reducing the dominance of entities like Binance is apparently an ongoing process.
This raises the question of whether there will be a full-scale crackdown on Binance and/or Tether. The answer is that nobody knows, but if you’ve been keeping up with the channel, you’ll know that Binance and Tether aren’t the only pressure points regulators can lean on. Most USDT and almost all TUSD exists on Tron, which has itself been raising lots of eyebrows recently.
Founder Justin Sun recently tweeted ‘4’. You know what that means? FUD is coming soon…
🖼 Opepen Twitter Takeover 🖼
Opepen, a series of weird geometric shapes on 8x8 canvases, has slowly been hijacking everyone’s Twitter feed over the past few months.
For those of us who love bird app doom-scrolling, they seem to be everywhere. From Twitter influencers to big brands, everyone seems to be rocking an Opepen-inspired PFP.
OpenSea, Rarible, ThreadGuy, Beeple, Adam Cochran, and Andrew Wang, are just a few of the well-known personalities who have either created or sported an Opepen-inspired artwork or PFP recently. So, what the heck is an “Opepen”?
Well, Opepen, as it stands today, is a digital art experiment consisting of 16,000 individual pieces (NFTs) grouped into 200 unique sets of 80 Opepens each.
Each ‘Set’ is dropped randomly and comprises 80 Opepens divided into the following edition sizes: 1/1, 1/4, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20, and 1/40.
So far, nine of these sets have been dropped and each of them features artwork that follows a particular theme. As for its origin meanwhile, Opepen began back in January as an open-edition free mint which offered collectors the same artwork.
The journey to get here has been nothing short of entertaining. Nettuno.eth has done a great job documenting this journey in his article, which is well worth a read.
Having said that, in a world where attention is arguably the most important commodity, Opepen’s crypto Twitter takeover is impressive, to say the least. So, how did they do it? Well to put it simply, they focused on ‘publicly’ building an art ‘culture’.
Instead of the typical generative art PFP project, Jack Butcher, the creator of Opepen, focused on creating a ‘multi-year’ art experience centred around the ‘Opepen symbol’, which is clearly recognisable in each piece of artwork. Jack also gave holders a voice in the curation process of the artworks released under the Opepen brand.
He did this by allowing collectors to view the artwork ahead of the drop. He then provided holders with the opportunity to opt-in to participate and created a ‘participation threshold’ that served as a gauge of interest in the drop.
Sets that failed to reach the ‘participation threshold’ were cancelled, and the team created a new set of artworks for collectors to vote on. This fostered a strong community of engaged art collectors who loved the project.
However, all of this was taken up a notch this week, after Twitter creator ThreadGuy changed his signature Mutant Ape Yacht Club PFP to an Opepen-inspired version of it. This took many Twitter users by surprise, as ThreadGuy had, just earlier that week, rejected a tempting offer from another user to do the same. What changed?
Well, Jack Butcher stepped in and made ThreadGuy a custom Opepen in the same colours as his mutant ape. Hundreds of people started using it as their PFP and this convinced ThreadGuy to change his PFP too.
The event ignited a meme and a movement in the NFT culture, with creators and collectors joining the Opepen trend and creating their unique versions of Opepen. And it’s hard to resist a movement built on fun and vibes.
Quite frankly, Opepen is revolutionising the NFT art genre. But its originality gives it a learning curve, which in the short term makes it hard for people to follow the message. So, is this a roadblock to success for Opepen?
Well, in Jack Butcher’s words - “Few understand that you only need a few to understand.”
Creating a culture of passionate collectors may be the destination all along.
📊 Personal Portfolio 📊
BTC 37.61% | ETH 31.14% | USDC 16.96% | USDT 6.78% | USD 3.43% | ATOM 2.81% | DOT 1.26%
🔥 Deal of The Week 🔥
Hodlers make money when the markets go up. However, traders can make money when volatility goes up. And, if traders want to make the most of this market volatility, then they are going to want to use a top tier exchange.
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🔮 Video Pipeline 🔮
- PwC Crypto Hedge Fund Report: Some pearls of wisdom?
- Countries Ravaged By Hyperinflation
- FSB Global Crypto Regulations: Cause for alarm?
- Nigeria: The canary in the CBDC coal mine?
🏆 What's New At CoinBureau.com This Week? 🏆
📖 Quote of the Week 📖
There seem to have been a lot of discussions on crypto Twitter over the past few weeks about gambling vs. trading. It’s important to know the difference between the two.
“In gambling the many must lose in order that the few may win” - George Bernard Shaw
Team Coin Bureau
Disclosure: Authors may own cryptoassets named in this newsletter. These are unqualified opinions, and a Coin Bureau newsletter, is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as investment advice. Please consult with your investment, tax, or legal advisor.
Guy is one of the founding members and face of the Coin Bureau. Like many of us, he is just an average joe who became “crypto curious” back in 2013. After recognising the potential of blockchain technology, Guy set off on a mission to create crypto educational content, working with others to start the Coin Bureau website and released our first video on YouTube in 2019. You can learn more about him in his Who is Guy? blogpost.