Powell Hikes another 25 basis points.

The US Federal Reserve, hand-in-hand with the FOMC, made waves by hiking the federal funds rate by another 25bps – marking the tenth straight increase since March 2022. 

The FOMC's release highlighted modest economic expansion in Q1, low unemployment, and stubbornly high inflation. Our banking system? Sound and resilient, they say. With their eyes set on taming inflation down to 2%, the FOMC raised the target range for the federal funds rate to 5 - 5.25%. The result? More banks such as PacWest have continued to collapse (down 40% post speech), while crypto markets and precious metals have seen a modest bump.

Investors eagerly awaited Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's insights on future rate hikes, with some speculating they'll pause for the rest of the year. While a pivot to rate cuts might be on some minds, the FOMC still sees the potential for "additional policy firming" to reach that 2% inflation goal. 

Powell expressed hope for a resolution on the US debt limit, reiterating the potential financial chaos if it isn't raised. As for the Fed's next move? They're ready to act if more monetary policy is needed. Stay tuned, folks!

Sui Mainnet goes live to take on DeFi giants 

Sui, the blockchain with a buzz, has made its mark with a whopping $2 billion valuation. Now, the race is on as it launches its mainnet to outdo rival Aptos and other DeFi titans. And the numbers don't lie - with its token trading at $1.33, a meteoric rise from the humble pre-sale price of 3 cents and public sale price of 10 cents, the market capitalization is a staggering $687 million. 

This blockchain, led by former Meta Platforms (META) employees, is already home to over 200 projects, with more than 100 others eagerly eyeing its network to build on. Sui is here to shake up the industry, and it's only just getting started.

Despite the lofty promises of swift transaction speeds made by Sui's developers, their blockchain explorer data revealed only a lacklustre average of four transactions per second (4tps) on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Aptos was crushing it with an impressive speed of 9tps. 

Unfortunately for Sui, decentralization proved to be a major stumbling block as the network's 2,100 nodes are primarily concentrated in Germany and the U.S. with only a scattering across Asia and eastern Europe. However, it's important to note that the network is still in its infancy and over time, validator distribution will likely become more widespread. As for the distribution of token holders, we're still in the dark. To get started on the network, learn how to use a Sui Wallet

BTC remains green despite fresh banking woes

The mighty Bitcoin, reigning as the world's top cryptocurrency by market cap, has charged ahead with yet another rally. In the past 24 hours alone, the digital currency has surged by a formidable 1.3%, regaining momentum after hovering around the $27k mark for much of Tuesday (May 2nd). 

The catalyst for this upswing? Recent banking woes in the US, as the fallout from the collapse of First Republic Bank, have seen shares in PacWest Bancorp and Western Alliance Bank nosedive by 27% and 15%, respectively. And with the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey also revealing weaker than anticipated figures, investors are seeking alternative havens - and cryptocurrencies are benefiting from this shift in sentiment.

Even Ether, the second-largest digital asset by market cap, is basking in the afterglow of Bitcoin's rally, boasting a healthy 1.5% gain in the past 24 hours. Yet despite these gains, ETH remains anchored below the $1,900 level. 

Coinbase launches Coinbase International Exchange 

San Francisco's cryptocurrency titan, Coinbase, has just unveiled a revolutionary new service that is set to shake up the financial world. Dubbed the Coinbase International Exchange, this cutting-edge platform promises to open up the world of digital assets to institutional users worldwide. By offering seamless access to Bitcoin and Ethereum perpetual futures, the company aims to provide users with unparalleled leverage and flexibility. What's more, the service will initially be rolled out in eligible jurisdictions, settling in USDC, with up to 5x leverage available to institutional clients. 

This bold move follows Coinbase's recent approval to operate its digital currency operations in Bermuda, granted by none other than the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). In a thrilling blog post, Coinbase spoke of their excitement to "support an updating of the financial system" by making their trusted products and services more accessible to digital asset users around the world. 

With Coinbase International Exchange at the helm, the future of digital assets has never looked brighter. Get ready to trade on a global scale like never before!

Hong Kong VC firm launches $100 million Blockchain fund 

Hong Kong-based VC firm CMCC Global has raised the bar by launching a whopping US$100 million fund that's solely focused on blockchain opportunities. The move signals a strong belief in the potential of the island as a hub for virtual asset trading. Co-founder Charlie Morris explains that the fund will target infrastructure, fintech, and consumer areas, all of which are driving the digital assets space forward. 

As one of Asia's first VC funds focused purely on blockchain and cryptocurrency, CMCC has a strong investor base in Hong Kong, including backing from Gemini Trust founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The fund will primarily focus on seed and series A investments. With Asia experiencing a rapid increase in blockchain investments, Hong Kong is pushing to become a leading virtual-asset trading hub, with the government setting aside HK$50 million (about $6.4 million) for expanding its local Web3 ecosystem. 

Furthermore, in February, crypto exchange major Huobi announced its move of Asia headquarters to Hong Kong from Singapore. The same month also saw Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission propose to allow trading of tokens like bitcoin and ether on licensed exchanges. The future of blockchain and virtual asset trading certainly looks promising in Hong Kong.

Other breaking news

  • CurveUSD Stablecoin is live with the first $1 million loan
  • BitFlyer fined $1.2 million
  • TUSD depegs, but to the upside
  • Nexa introduces the Chain-Agnostic Token (CAT) standard
  • Enclave starts fully encrypted spot exchange
  • US 30% mining tax proposal enters budget

Wrapping up

That's a wrap for today's Datawallet Daily Newsletter! BTC and gold thrives amid banking woes and rate hike expectations, while Coinbase International Exchange sets the stage for global trading. Hong Kong embraces blockchain potential with a $100M fund, and Sui Mainnet takes on DeFi giants. Keep riding the crypto wave with us, and we'll see you tomorrow for more cutting-edge insights! 🚀