OSL Trader View | Weekend Digest

Friday June 5, 2020

#BunkerTrump where you at?

It hasn’t been a great week for the POTUS but then again, how he is portrayed in the eyes of others is not exactly a concern. You would think he would try to keep the friends he has, but that does not appear to be top of mind as he shuns the G7 by backing out of its annual summit and instead chumming up to Russia, South Korea and India.

He further antagonized China by stepping up the red-tape for Chinese media companies the likes of People’s Daily, CCTV et al by adding them to the foreign-mission list, while also threatening to revoke Hong Kong’s special status and apply sanctions to those directly (or indirectly) responsible for the new Security Law measures.  

His tough guy act though did reap some benefit, after the PRC relented to his ban on China carriers entering the US by relaxing their own ban on American carriers traveling to China. He’s now set to revise the Chinese airlines’ bans, but may be looking for his next tit-for-tat political cum commercial victory.

The flaws behind his favorite COVID-19 drug, hydroxychloriquine, were exposed this week in the most comical of revelations. The unverified database of clinical trials was allegedly compiled and analyzed by Surgisphere (an outfit staffed by a fiction writer and an adult entertainment star amongst its reported three employees).  Without the ability to verify the data, Lancet - one of the two leading medical journals - to issue a “expression of concern” and retract its study,

The highlight however,  was Trump’s move to seek overnight refuge from the heating protests in the White House bunker.  There were no reports whether his cable subscription would allow him to receive all his favorite TV shows from his temporary abode but it was surely no Mar-a-Lago. 

The silver lining to all this calamity in the US may lie in the digital asset space.  Crypto Mom is here to stay! Hester Peirce’s first term at the SEC was set to expire today, but has been extended for a second term through July 1 2023. Mazeltov. May her crypto safe harbor proposal gain momentum and turn into a reality… 

Across the pond in Europe, shots were heard again as the ECB pulled out its second bazooka in just two weeks to fire another €600B top up in bond purchases, while downgrading 2020 GDP to 8.7%. 

Bitcoin chopped through the week punching in a 10% pop to recover pre-COVID-19 levels, only to give back the gains shortly after its 10K dance.

The trigger? Bitmex funding. 

If you annualize that, you are looking at a 95% APR… this coincided with yet another outage at Coinbase and a few other exchanges triggering some panic but $9,500 holds and RSI implies a few more legs to this rally. 

Sexier price action continues to grind away in Ether as the market digests news of ERC-20 USDT now available on the OMG network- an Ethereum sidechain. This has alleviated some concerns of increasingly limited headroom in the Ethereum Virtual Machine.  Additionally, as we head into the final month of 2Q20 the narratives of Ethereum 2.0 are slowly resurfacing. 

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is looking to jump in the mining sector competition, with its $2.8B IPO filing through the Sci-Tech Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). Proceeds are earmarked for 14nm chip development. NASDAQ listed Chinese miner-maker, Canaan, is expected to tap into this pool of supply, but given that the competition is already generations ahead (Whatsminer M30S run on 8nm chips from Samsung, Bitmain’s latest Antminers are on 7nm TSMC) it’s a wonder how much headway they'll be able to achieve.

Chase Bank had charged its users (62,000 of them) through the nose for digital asset purchases, by charging rates in some cases as high-20s. They’ve decided to settle and refund most of the $2.5M yet refuse to apologize. Margins may be compressed for the big banks with cost-income ratios strained, but come on… there’s nickel and diming and then there’s just gouging. #BuyBitcoin

Some rare excitement following MAKER listing on Coinbase but Klaytn takes the jersey as the KRW markets open up amidst a backdrop of the mobile wallet Klip debut. Look out for Coinone’s listing slated for 18:00 GMT(+9 today). 

In these Goldilocks markets, we continue to see positive nuggets: CryptoCompare reports record crypto derivative volumes to the tune of $602B accounting for ⅓ of all crypto transactions. Crypto Mom advocates a Bitcoin ETF suggesting that it would do wonders to address the perennial 22.5% premium we’ve seen on Grayscale’s GBTC. Grayscale is now buying 1.5x supply released and Kyrgyzstan looks to legalize crypto mining.

Some additional news that caught our eye this week:


May the trend be your friend! 


OSL Trader View and Weekend Digest are contributed by Stefan Chu, SJ Oh, and Santiago Nazaretti



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