Market Deep Dive: Crypto Market Stalls, US Debt Ceiling Deal Approved, and AI Dominates Headlines

Another relatively uneventful week comes to a close. BTC and ETH both had a promising start at the beginning of the week but are currently only trading slightly higher, with BTC$ up 1.5% at 27.1k and ETH$ up 3.2% just below 1.9k.

As expected, the US Senate approved a deal to raise the debt ceiling last night, following the House of Representatives’ approval the day before. Similar to 2011, the deal was reached at the last minute, just a few days before the June 5th deadline mentioned by US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, as the point when the Government would run out of money.

President Joe Biden can now sign the measure into law.

Stocks saw a modest increase in trading after the news, but overall, the relief in financial markets was limited, indicating that an agreement was widely anticipated.

The US 10-year yield dropped by 10 bps on June 1st after the Republican-dominated House of Representatives approved the deal, and it currently stands at 3.62%, down from a yearly high of 4.09%.

Turning back now to crypto: after a spectacular start in 2023, with BTC surging more than 85% at one point, the crypto market is now stuck in a sideways trend. There is currently a lack of clarity in several areas. US regulators are taking various actions against cryptocurrencies (SEC, CFTC), but the main issue lies not in regulators tightening the screws but in the fact that rules and regulations remain largely unclear. The crypto industry needs clear regulatory direction to adapt, or at the very least, companies need clarity to make informed decisions about investing resources in certain jurisdictions.

In Europe, the MiCA regulation has become a reality, but it will likely take until mid-2024 or early 2025 to come into effect. As is often the case with new regulations, larger players are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Additionally, the most hyped topic currently is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Never before in history has there been such rapid user adoption, surpassing the growth of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok by a large margin. Drawing a direct connection from AI to crypto is not straightforward, but two points are worth mentioning. First, AI is driven by large tech corporations and operates in the traditional Web 2 world, not Web 3. It can even be seen as a step back, as AI does not rely on user-generated content like in the current Web 2 form, where users play a significant role in content creation on centralised platforms like YouTube. Second, significant investment is currently flowing into AI, potentially diverting funds from other areas. Nvidia, for example, recently experienced one of the largest single-day stock market jumps in history, adding USD 184 billion in market capitalisation in a single trading session, and recently reaching a market cap of USD 1 trillion. Of course, hypes can subside, but AI currently dominates headlines and is where the money is flowing.

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