Just When We Thought it Was Over

Disruptions represent some of the biggest risks to the global economy right now. More specifically, disruptions to global supply chains.

This has been an ongoing problem ever since the pandemic reared its head back in 2020. However, despite many countries seemingly putting it behind them, the hangover from covid-19 lingers on and has consequences for us all.

Unfortunately, things are likely to get a lot worse before they get better. There are external forces that keep buckling the global supply chain, from geopolitical conflict to zero covid policies. These are eventualities we should all be planning for.

Today, I will be taking you through the global supply chain crisis. I'll explain exactly how it happened and why it’s still getting worse. I'll also be breaking down what this means for the economy and what we should be doing about it.

You can watch that video here. 

📊 Main Portfolio 📊

As mentioned last week, I was looking for a Layer 1 diversification investment. One of the most interesting projects that I have been following for sometime is Near Protocol. And, in research for an upcoming video, I have become really impressed with its tech, team and roadmap.

So, as disclosed in my Telegram today, I have used some of the UST that I have been hodling to buy some NEAR. I think it’s an ideal time, given that it’s off its recent highs and has more upside potential than other layer 1s with higher market caps.

No other changes apart from this. If there are any others I will update you in my official Telegram channel.

The updated portfolio is:

ETH 32.21% | BTC 22.32% | SOL 8.65% | DOT 6.07% | ATOM 4.90% | UST 3.85% | RUNE 3.53% | NEAR 2.83% | LUNA 2.71% | APE 2.48% | FTM 1.73% | ADA 1.66% | AR 1.59% | HNT 1.57% | MATIC 1.31% | INJ 1.04% | LINK 0.70% | YGG 0.51% | XDEFI 0.34%

🖼 NFT Portfolio 🖼

MAYC 96.15% | Meebit 3.85%

📈 Thoughts on Market 📈

If you watched my recent video about the upcoming Coin Bureau conference, you’ll know that one of the other crypto YouTubers who will be in attendance is Maren Altman. For those who don’t know, Maren is a crypto trader who uses astrology as part of her technical analysis. I know it sounds crazy (and I honestly thought it was for a while) but it seems to be somewhat accurate.

A great example here is Maren’s pinned tweet from January 2021. Basically, she predicted that there would be a big move in the crypto market in mid May, and another in mid-late July. Lo and behold, the crypto market crashed in mid-May because of China’s crypto mining crackdown, and the crypto market recovered after Jack Dorsey’s corporate Bitcoin event in mid-late July.

As is often the case with these kind of phenomena, there’s a logical explanation. Most of Maren’s astronomical analysis revolves around the phases of the moon, with a full moon seemingly preceding a short-term BTC rally. As it so happens, there’s macro stuff that happens on a monthly and bi-weekly basis which moves the market, such as Bitcoin options expiries.

In other words, what Maren is ultimately doing is indirectly tracking other market trends with her astrological charts, and she posted an updated one over the weekend. With a full moon having happened last night, Maren is predicting a short term rally in the crypto market that will end sometime in early May because that’s when the eclipse season will be (obviously!).

As you might have guessed, there’s something else happening in early May that could move the markets, and that’s the Federal Reserve’s press conference where it will detail how it plans on proceeding, as far as interest rates go. The market has priced in another 0.5% rate hike, so if we see anything higher, there will probably be a crash, and if it’s lower, the rally could continue.

Unfortunately, the Fed is just one of many factors that could cause the crypto market to tank next month. Regulators seem to have kicked into high gear, particularly the SEC, which is now looking to redefine the term ‘exchange’ in what appears to be an explicit attempt to bring decentralised finance under its control.

Luckily, there are lots of folks who are fighting for crypto in US congress such as senators Pat Toomey and Cynthia Lummis. The former recently tabled a bill to make sure the SEC doesn’t crack down on stablecoins, and the latter is working on a bipartisan bill to protect the entire crypto industry in the United States. Cynthia’s bill includes privacy protection, which brings me to the next section…

👁 The War on Privacy 👁

If you follow me on Twitter then you probably saw my post about how Tornado Cash has teamed up with Chainalysis to prevent sanctioned wallet addresses from interacting with the protocol. For context, Tornado Cash is an Ethereum protocol that makes it possible to cut the connection between sender and receiver. I actually covered Tornado in depth in a video last February.

Although Tornado Cash and other privacy preserving protocols are often used by criminals to launder money, a 2019 report by Chainalysis itself found that only about 8% of mixed cryptocurrency is tied to illicit activity. This means that the overwhelming majority of people who use these protocols are just trying to preserve their privacy on a public blockchain.

It’s believed that the Tornado Cash caved in to authorities because the hacker of Axie Infinity’s Ronin is believed to be part of the infamous North Korean hacking group, Lazarus. Naturally, the Ronin hacker was using Tornado Cash to cover their tracks, and it looks like the hacker of Solana’s Wormhole bridge tried doing the same earlier this year.

However, this is part of a much larger trend of cracking down on privacy-preserving crypto technologies that seems to have accelerated in recent months. Two other announcements that come to mind here are Wasabi’s announcement that it would be blocking illicit BTC transactions, and Trezor’s attempt to introduce a KYC compliance tool for its hardware wallet.

Meanwhile, crypto traders have apparently been having a hard time withdrawing Monero’s XMR from centralised exchanges for months. Some XMR holders are speculating that exchanges are lying about how much XMR they actually have (which they can do thanks to the privacy of Monero’s ledger). To find out, some XMR holders will be staging a ‘Monerun’ tomorrow.

While it’s likely that the XMR withdrawal issues are in fact due to liquidity issues, it’s almost equally likely that exchanges are under extreme scrutiny when it comes to privacy coins. Case in point, Bittrex recently delisted Haven Protocol, a fork of Monero that makes it possible to create a private synthetic stablecoin similar to Terra’s UST. You can learn more about it here.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Despite this apparent crackdown on privacy, institutional investors are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into privacy preserving protocols. Aleo Blockchain and Secret Network are two of the most obvious examples. Heck, even Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert is advising people to acquire privacy coins.

What this suggests is that there is a middle ground to this relentless attack on privacy in crypto, and it makes sense. Institutions don’t want you to know how much crypto they hold, and they can’t make themselves private on a crypto blockchain without giving regular folks the same ability. That would be too much of a double standard for investors to swallow, or would it…?

🤵 Accredited Investors Win Again 🤵

This week, there was another blow for retail crypto investors in the United States and it came from Celsius. More specifically, the crypto lending platform disclosed that it would be making changes to its “earn” product and only leaving it open to accredited investors.

For those who don’t know, an accredited investor is an individual or institution that is allowed to trade securities that may not be registered with the financial authorities. When it comes to defining an individual accredited investor, it’s anyone who has an annual income of over $200k or has a net worth of over $1m (i.e: rich folk).

What this means is that only those people who meet the definition of an accredited investor are allowed to invest in assets that could be considered unregistered securities. These include many of the tokens that have been issued by cryptocurrency projects. It’s also why startups are only allowed to raise money from these types of investors and not the retail type.

Ok, but what does this have to do with crypto interest accounts?

Well, that’s because according to the regulator's read of the securities laws, these crypto interest bearing accounts could be seen as akin to unsecured loans. These are of course unregistered securities and hence they cannot be offered to retail investors.

This is something that BlockFi recently discovered in its $100m settlement with the SEC earlier this year. It is also something Coinbase came up against last year as it was about to launch its “lend” program. Celsius is having “ongoing discussions” with regulators and one can only assume that this action was taken preemptively.

So, according to the letter of the law, these lending products are in breach. But, is it fair? Is it fair that investors who have less income or wealth are automatically assumed to be less “sophisticated” and hence unable to make prudent investment decisions?

Yes, there could be occasions in which investors should be protected from these unregistered offerings. But is a crypto interest account paying 5-7% p.a. the biggest risk that they face? Shouldn’t the regulators be focusing on some of the most common forms of crypto fraud that are taking advantage of retail traders on a daily basis? Why are known celebrity shills allowed to constantly take advantage of their followers with scammy NFTs and tokens and face no scrutiny?

It’s hard to square the circle between the statements of “investor protection” and what we see taking place in the crypto space.

But what this does mean is that if you are a US citizen who doesn't happen to have the means to be defined as “accredited”, it means that you will have to make do with standard fiat interest-bearing accounts. With these, you would be lucky to be getting 0.5% p.a. Of course, with inflation now running at 8.5%, it means your real effective savings rate is -8%.

That’s really effective “investor protection”...

🔥 Deal of The Week 🔥

We all know that NFTs have been through excessive periods of hype. However, if there is one NFT asset that I think still has potential is blockchain domains.

That is because, unlike most overvalued collectible NFTs, these have large amounts of additional utility value. They can be used as a means to send and receive payments in a personalised crypto address. It’s a lot easier to tell someone to send crypto to “coinbureau.crypto” than to bandy about a long form address.

On top of this, these also have a “flex factor” to them. Much like other NFT collections, they are unique and hence they have a lot more value. There are some pretty high value NFT blockchain domains already.

For those of you who have been around for some time, you will remember the massive returns that were made from some of those early .com domains.

Fun fact: Micheal Saylor’s microstrategy made quite a killing in the domaining space with one of their most recent sales of voice.com netting in $30 million.

So, there is definitely potential in domain names from a practical and historical standpoint. And, if you are looking to get your hands on your very own blockchain domain, then there is one place.

Over at Unstoppable Domains you can get access to ten unique domain extensions like .crypto, .coin, .wallet and more.

I have been able to secure you guys an exclusive deal. If you buy over $250 worth of domains then you’ll get a FREE $125 promo credit to secure yourself some more domains for free.

👉 Sign Up To Unstoppable Domains & Get Up To $125 FREE!

📢 Coin Bureau Event London 📢

The whole Coin Bureau Team is blown away that 2,000 of you will be joining us for our inaugural event in London. Tickets for this are now sold out!

However, for those that could not make it, we will be livestreaming everything on the Coin Bureau Clips channel - so you might want to bash that subscribe button over there so you don’t miss out!

It’s going to be a fun action-packed day and we can’t wait to shower everyone attending with a host of crypto goodies, interesting talks and fun competitions. However, we know that we wouldn’t have been able to give all this additional value to our attendees were it not for our event sponsors.

So, I wanted to give a big shoutout to all the sponsors for supporting this exciting event and helping make it all possible.

🔮 Video Pipeline 🔮

  • BlackRock: The Black Box Shaping The World
  • Banker & Politicians in a SWF Gravy Train
  • The Fed is tightening: What it means!
  • Near Protocol Update: Still worth it?
  • Crazy Report: How Privacy Coins Can be Compliant?
  • The People Fighting For Pro-Crypto Regulations
  • Top 10 Biggest Bubbles Ever

🏆 What's New At CoinBureau.com This Week? 🏆

Nami Wallet: Store your ADA and Cardano NFTs

BreederDAO Review: The Ultimate Gaming NFT Scaling Solution?

✅ Coin Bureau Conference: What To Get Ready For

Complete Guide to Crypto Network Fees

4 Steps to Get Your Crypto Taxes Done Before The April 18 Deadline

That’s all for this week folks. Thanks as always for all the love that you show the Bureau!

Guy your crypto guy

Guy Turner

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.

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