Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:
Prices: The market remains optimistic about a bitcoin ETF, and good economic data from the U.S. is keeping it in the green.
Insights: Singapore's ease of doing business, regulatory structure and digital infrastructure largely accounted for its number two ranking in the CoinDesk Hubs survey.
Bitcoin is Comfortable at $30K
Most major digital assets are beginning the East Asia trading day well into the green, as positive economic data from the U.S. buoyed markets.
Bitcoin was up 1% and trading at $30,585, while ether is up 0.9% and trading at $1,874, according to CoinDesk data.
Layer 2 tokens, such as Arbitrum and Polygon were also in the green with ARB recently up 5.4% and MATIC 3%. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) was also up 1.4%.
“There was a lot of US economic data released today, and the key takeaway was that the economy is not breaking just yet,” Edward Moya, OANDA Senior Market Analyst, told CoinDesk in a note. “Bitcoin momentum remains intact as Fidelity joins the quest for the elusive bitcoin ETF…optimism is here that one of these financial giants will get one done before summer's end.”
During a recent appearance on CoinDesk TV, Moya predicted that bitcoin could reach $40,000 before the end of the year.
“Bitcoin trades above the 30,000 level investors are waiting to see if the rally can continue. Initial resistance comes from the 34,000 level, and if we do see a bitcoin ETF approval, institutional momentum could take the rally as high as the $40,000 level,” he told CoinDesk. “Any major setbacks with a BlackRock ETF rejection and a Grayscale defeat could temporarily kill the rally, but optimism will still remain that the ETF will eventually get done.”
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Singapore: The Center of Asian Crypto Wealth Is Ready for a Reset
Known for governmental efficiency, the city-state of Singapore scored highest overall for the three measures it could control: regulatory structure (35% of the total score and included in the drivers category), digital infrastructure (12%) and ease of doing business (10%), which are both part of the enablers category. That was enough to be firmly ensconced in second place despite middling scores for quality of life – due to a very high cost of living – and per-capita crypto jobs, companies and events, which comprise the opportunities category.
For more on the criteria and how we weighted them, see: How We Ranked CoinDesk’s Crypto Hubs 2023: Our Methodology.
Despite the crypto industry’s well-earned reputation as the Wild West, crypto founders tend to prioritize predictability and clear regulations when shopping for a place to incorporate. That’s why the well-regulated, efficiently governed city-state of Singapore hosts the headquarters or satellites of some of the biggest brands in crypto, including Binance, Coinbase and Crypto.com. But after the spectacular failures of its homegrown darlings Terraform Labs and Three Arrows Capital plunged the ecosystem into Crypto Winter, Singapore’s crypto community is licking its wounds – and beginning to look to the future.
Singapore still has a strong reputation: it received the most mentions for best crypto hub in a select CoinDesk survey sent to about three dozen globetrotting crypto professionals this spring. The Red Dot has all the ingredients of a strong crypto hub, with the highest rating in the world for digital infrastructure (as measured by the Tufts/Fletcher Digital Evolution Index) and second-highest ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.
It is the most competitive fintech hub in the Asia Pacific region, according to the 2023 Global Financial Centres Index, edging out Hong Kong, and a regulatory leader for crypto. In 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) passed the Payment Services License Act. “There were all these companies that were all rushing to Singapore to apply for the license because it was actually the first regulator in the region that had a proper digital-assets licensing framework,” said Pamela Lee, head of APAC sales at Talos, developer of institutional-grade technology for digital-asset trading.
Prakash Somosundram, founder of Enjinstarter, a blockchain-based crowdfunding platform for early crypto projects, described having had a “front row seat” to the Singaporean crypto scene since 2015. “In the early days, when it came to crypto, from a regulatory perspective, it was very pro. So this is where a lot of crypto influencers moved their capital,” Somosundram said. And with no capital gains tax, “It is an ideal place for the crypto affluent to actually come here.”
A highly educated workforce and institutional fintech know-how have been a potent mix for Singapore. Among the first initial coin offerings (ICO) were Singaporean startups such as cryptocurrency payment platform TenX, which raised $43 million in just seven minutes in 2017. That year, Singapore even surpassed the U.S. with $1.5 billion versus $1.2 billion in ICO funding, an astounding amount for a locale that is roughly the landmass of New York City, with just two-thirds of the population.
Read the full story here:
Point Zero Forum (Zurich, Switzerland)
Blockchance 23 (Hamburg, Germany)
Joe Biden speech on the economy (Chicago)
In a Bloomberg interview, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said he expects the new wave of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be approved as “past concerns” of regulators are being addressed. OANDA Senior Market Analyst for The Americas Edward Moya shared his crypto markets analysis as bitcoin (BTC) holds above $30,000. Plus, Wilk Auslander LLP partner Eric Snyder discussed a new report from the FTX team that digs through the financial guts of the failed exchange. And, CoinDesk ranked the top crypto hubs in 2023. MidChains co-founder and CEO Basil Al Askari explains why Abu Dhabi made the list.
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