Inflation dips to 3.1% aligning with forecasts, BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF attracts Wall Street banks, and KuCoin settles lawsuit in New York.
November CPI Meets Forecasts: Inflation Slips to 3.1%

November CPI Meets Forecasts: Inflation Slips to 3.1%

Dec 14, 2023
| Issue

Welcome to a new edition of Datawallet Daily. In this issue, we’re covering the key stories that have been influencing the crypto world in the past 24 hours:

November CPI Meets Forecasts: Inflation Slips to 3.1%

In November, U.S. headline CPI inflation decreased slightly to 3.1% year-over-year, in line with economists’ predictions, and marking a small decline from the previous month’s 3.2%. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose by 0.3% monthly, meeting expectations and showing a slight increase from October.

Annually, the core rate climbed by 4%, consistent with forecasts. The inflation data suggests that the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to maintain the current Fed funds rate of 5.25%-5.5% in its upcoming meetings. U.S. stock index futures, including the S&P 500, experienced a modest increase, while the 10-year Treasury yield slightly decreased to 4.22%. Both BTC and ETH are down around 5% from their local highs on Sunday but are showing renewed signs of strength.

BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF Welcomes Wall Street Banks

BlackRock’s proposed spot bitcoin ETF has undergone a structural change, allowing authorized participants (APs) to create new fund shares with cash instead of only with cryptocurrency. This adjustment facilitates participation from major Wall Street banks like JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs, which are restricted from directly holding Bitcoin. The cash used by these banks can be converted into Bitcoin by an intermediary and stored by the ETF’s custodian. 

This development increases optimism for the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs by the SEC, potentially attracting substantial investment from retail investors. The involvement of banks could significantly enhance liquidity, as they possess far larger balance sheets compared to existing market-making firms in crypto.

KuCoin Settles New York Suit for $22M, Exits State

KuCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, has agreed to settle a lawsuit in New York by paying $22 million. This sum includes $16.77 million in refunds to its New York customers and a $5.3 million payment to the New York Attorney General’s office. The settlement arises from charges that KuCoin violated securities laws by offering tokens, such as ether, deemed securities without proper registration. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James initiated the lawsuit in March, marking the first court claim categorizing ether as a security. As part of the settlement, KuCoin will cease operations for New York users within 120 days of the order’s effective date, as confirmed by KuCoin’s CEO Johnny Lyu in a tweet. This move reaffirms KuCoin’s commitment to compliant operations.

Trump Sells More NFTs as Original Sets Decline Again

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has launched his third NFT collection, “Trump Digital Trading Cards: MugShot Edition,” comprising 100,000 NFTs minted on Polygon and priced at $99 each. This series, centered around Trump’s indictment in Georgia, offers physical trading cards with pieces of his suit and other perks for bulk purchasers. The high-volume purchasers are entitled to two physical cards, each potentially bearing Trump’s signature. Additionally, they receive VIP tickets to a gala dinner hosted at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. 

However, the release negatively impacted the market value of his previous Trump NFT collections. The original series’ price dropped by 18% to around $396, while the second series fell to $61. Currently, about 8,000 new NFTs have been minted, with a non-transferable clause until December 31.

Other breaking news

Wrapping up

Wrapping up today’s issue: The absence of negative macro news is a positive sign. Notably, November’s CPI met expectations with inflation dipping to 3.1%. In ETF developments, Blackrock’s Bitcoin ETF has seen a significant structural shift, opening doors for major Wall Street banks. On the regulatory side, there is news of KuCoin settling a New York lawsuit for $22M and subsequently exiting the state. Additionally, Trump has released more NFTs. Keep an eye out for more updates!