First Mover Americas: New Bitcoin Use Case Is Buying Fuel Down Under
The latest moves in crypto markets in context for April 4, 2022.
Good morning, and welcome to First Mover, our daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Sign up here to get it in your inbox each weekday morning.
Here’s what’s happening this morning:
- Market Moves: Bitcoin trades flat, dollar index rises as Fed fears linger. Australia's fuel and convenience store On The Run (OTR) to accept bitcoin as payment.
- Chartist Corner: The dollar index eyes breakout.
And check out the CoinDesk TV show “First Mover,” hosted by Christine Lee, Emily Parker and Lawrence Lewitinn at 9:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern time.
- Mati Greenspan, founder and CEO, Quantum Economics.
- John Michael Montgomery, senator for U.S. state of Oklahoma, Republican.
By Omkar Godbole
Major cryptocurrencies traded flat while the Neutrino dollar or USDN, an algorithmic stablecoin of the Waves ecosystem, lost its U.S. dollar peg.
Bitcoin was comatose near $46,200 after last week's disappointing price action that saw buyers fail to chew through the 200-day moving average resistance above $48,000.
Early Monday, Adelaide, Australia-based newspaper The Advertiser said On The Run (OTR), operators of 170 BP service stations across South Australia, will begin accepting bitcoin as payment from July. The announcement makes OTR the largest bricks-and-mortar retailer in Australia to accept cryptocurrency and is part of a deal with Singapore-based Crypto.com.
The move will allow customers to pay for fuel in bitcoin! Yes you read it right. The newfound use case in one of the developed economies validates the idea of the crypto market leader eventually taking a more significant role in the global economy, perhaps replacing the dollar in the prevalent petro-dollar setup, where U.S. dollars are paid to oil-exporting countries.
"This adds more weight to the idea of bitcoin becoming a Petro-asset after Putin recently allowed ‘friendly’ countries to pay for oil in bitcoin," Marcus Sotiriou, analyst at the U.K.-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said in an email.
Ether (ETH), the native token of Ethereum's blockchain, took a breather after a three-week winning streak, the longest since October 2021. Over the weekend, the options market saw a flurry of activity in the ether $10,000 call option expiring in December.
Arthur Hayes, the founder of crypto spot and derivatives exchange BitMEX, recently joined the bandwagon of observers taking a bullish outlook on ether. "When the dust settles at year-end, I believe ETH will be trading north of $10,000," Hayes said in a blog post called "Five Ducking Digits" published Friday. The post-merge cryptocurrency will have the characteristics of a commodity-linked bond and will have an intrinsic yield, he said.
Early Monday, the exploiter behind Ronin’s unprecedented $625 million bridge attack from last week moved some 1,400 ether to privacy tool Tornado Cash.
The joke cryptocurrency dogecoin (DOGE) jumped 10%. The move higher came after a regulatory filing revealed that Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has a 9.2% stake in social media company Twitter, Inc. (TWTR).
In traditional markets, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback's value against major fiat currencies, rose for the third straight day as hawkish Federal Reserve (Fed) expectations, elevated crude prices and recession fears kept the world's reserve currency in demand.
Fed fears linger
On Saturday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said the process of reducing the balance sheet could begin at the next meeting, scheduled for May 3-4. The Fed holds around $9 trillion of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
The long road to the Fed's balance sheet normalization could be rough for risk assets, including bitcoin and ether. The central bank raised borrowing costs by 25 basis points last month and signaled a continued fight against inflation.
"As the Fed continues on its path to raise nominal rates and the 2s / 10s curve inverts — pointing to a future U.S. recession — equities are going to get crushed. And by crushed, I mean down 30% to 50%, until something breaks in the credit markets and the Fed turns back on the money printer," BitMEX's Hayes said in a blog post called "Five Ducking Digits" published Friday.
"If I believe this with every fibre of my being, then I must also believe ETH can trade down in USD terms by 30% to 50%. Until either the broad risk asset market crashes, or ETH’s short-term correlation begins to fall vs. the Nasdaq100 or S&P 500, I will not sell fiat and buy ETH," Hayes added.
Potential Breakout in DXY
By Omkar Godbole
The dollar index or DXY has carved a bull flag on the daily chart. A potential breakout would imply a resumption of the rally from May 2021 lows near 90.
A sustained move higher in the dollar may put downward pressure on assets priced in the greenback.
According to Kevin Kelly, co-founder and global head of macro strategy at Delphi Digital, the greenback and bitcoin have a pretty inverse correlation.
"2017 was one of the worst years for the dollar, and that coincided with a huge run in bitcoin," Kelly said in an analyst call in March. "We saw bitcoin run up in early 2021. That was on the back of the dollar weakness."
Today’s newsletter was edited by Omkar Godbole and produced by Bradley Keoun and Stephen Alpher.
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