Web3 news: Major Talking Points from the First Half of the Month
Every fortnight, we take a look at the major talking points from the Preceding half of the month. Read and digest, as we take a look at the major happenings in the Cryptocurrency space in the first half of the month of May.
Musk Warns of Financial Shift
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Twitter, has expressed concern over what he describes as a “massive incentive” pushing people and businesses to move their money out of U.S. bank accounts. This is largely due to a widening interest rate gap between money market accounts and regular bank accounts. Money market accounts, primarily those backed by Treasury Bills, currently offer an interest rate of around 4.5%, a significantly higher return compared to the sub-1% yield provided by most bank accounts.
The Binance Fever
Binance, the most popular centralized exchange in the world, was not left out of the action during this fully activated dual week in the crypto space. After reports surfaced revealing that the Israeli government had seized almost 200 Binance accounts linked to terrorists in the past two years, another report was released simultaneously suggesting that the world’s largest crypto exchange was under investigation for violating the terms of Russia’s sanctions. As the week came to a close, Binance made headlines once again, having suspended Bitcoin transactions twice within the space of a few hours. This caused some panic in the hearts of Bitcoin traders.
A New BlockChain Launched as CoinBase Goes International
On May 3, 2023, Mysten Labs launched the Sui Blockchain, a much-anticipated layer-one scaling solution that promised to revolutionize the crypto space. The blockchain’s native governance token, $SUI, was quickly listed on top centralized exchanges such as Binance, Gate.io, Mexc, Bybit, and KuCoin, generating a lot of buzz in the industry.
Coinbase, the popular American cryptocurrency company, also made a big announcement on the same day. They revealed that they had expanded their services beyond the United States to cater to customers in other countries as part of their expansion strategy.
From Bitcoin to Ban-It: A Tale of Two Countries
In a series of alternating reports, the 6th smallest nation in the world, Liechtenstein, took a big step towards cryptocurrency adoption when its monarch government announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin as payment for government services. However, thousands of kilometers south of the Central European nation, the government of Argentina pronounced a complete ban on all forms of cryptocurrency payments within a few days. Later, the South American country swung into action and restricted all gateways for cryptocurrency from its payment providers.
Ethereum Foundation Sells $30M Worth of ETH: Will ETH Price Crash?
The Ethereum Foundation has recently sold $30 million worth of ETH, raising concerns over a potential price crash for the cryptocurrency. Some investors worry that the sale of such a significant amount of Ethereum could lead to a sell-off and negatively impact its price.
However, others argue that the sale is a natural part of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and that it may not have a significant impact on Ethereum’s price. It’s worth noting that the price of ETH has been fluctuating in recent weeks, with a dip followed by a slight recovery. As with any cryptocurrency investment, it’s important to keep an eye on the market and do your own research before making any decisions.
Mastercard, PayPal, and Robinhood Show Confidence in Crypto Industry’s Promise
Payment giants Mastercard and PayPal, as well as popular trading platform Robinhood, have been making significant moves in the cryptocurrency space. Mastercard has launched a new program for crypto startups and expanded its cryptocurrency offerings, while PayPal has acquired a cryptocurrency custody firm and plans to offer a new trading feature. Robinhood has also announced plans to expand its cryptocurrency services.
These developments demonstrate the growing confidence of major financial players in the potential of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that underpins them. As the industry continues to mature, more traditional financial institutions are likely to follow suit and make their own forays into the space.
Inflation in the US
Inflation in the United States witnessed a slight slowdown in April, with the consumer price index (CPI) — a widely accepted measure of inflation — seeing an annual increase of 4.9%, slightly less than the 5% estimate and the lowest annual pace since April 2021. This provided some optimism that the cost of living could potentially decrease later in the year. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the core CPI rose by 0.4% monthly and 5.5% annually, both in line with expectations.