First Mover Americas: Interest in Staking Ether Ramps Up

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for May 23, 2023.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2023 at 12:16 p.m. UTC
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This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Interest in staking ether, i.e., locking coins in the Ethereum network to earn passive yield, has surged since implementation of the Shapella, or Shanghai upgrade on April 12. Data tracked by Glassnode shows more than 4.4 million coins have been deposited into the staking contract since April 12, taking the total amount of staked tokens to 22.58 million. "The surge in demand for staking probably originates from large ether holders, who prefer not to liquidate their holdings and instead seek to generate passive income," analysts at Bitfinex said in a weekly report shared with CoinDesk Tuesday.

Cryptocurrency exchange OKX is targeting France as a regional hub in Europe with plans to hire around 100 people there in the next three years. The Seychelles-based firm has filed an application to become registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP), looking to join 74 other companies that have so far won regulatory approval from that country's Financial Markets Authority. It plans to establish a "substantial" physical presence in France, said Tun Byun, the company's head of global government relations. France last year emerged as the destination of choice for Binance as a European Union hub following its DASP registration.

MicroStrategy (MSTR) represents an attractive alternative to Coinbase (COIN) for investors looking to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency sector, German investment bank Berenberg said in a report Monday. Investors who are very bearish on Coinbase shares and are inclined to short the stock should look at pairing it with a long position in MicroStrategy, the report said, noting that the correlation between the two stocks since Coinbase went public via a direct listing in April 2021 is 0.96. Berenberg says macro drivers of demand for bitcoin are bullish for MicroStrategy shares, and investor concerns over de-dollarization - or the weakening of the U.S. dollar’s dominance - have helped to put a more positive spotlight on bitcoin in recent months.

Chart of the Day

Fed funds futures, Blofin
Fed funds futures, Blofin
  • The chart shows the market-implied probabilities for the benchmark U.S. interest rate over the coming months.
  • Investors do not foresee a notable decline in the interest rate anytime soon as policymakers continue to discount recession talks and favor a higher for longer stance.
  • Per crypto asset management firm Blofin, the low probability of rate cuts means the crypto market may remain under pressure and the situation may improve at the end of the year.

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.

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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.


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