In this recap of the crypto world, we will explore the events and news that had the most significant impact in the past week of March 13. Our focus will be on the following developments:
- CPI data causes BTC to surge
- Credit Suisse bank on the brink of collapse
- Uniswap V3 launches on BNB
- Meta ending support for its NFT programs
- Salesforce entering Web3
CPI Data Causes BTC to Surge
Bitcoin has been making headlines again, as it experienced a surge in price, reaching levels last seen in June 2022. The recent wave was triggered by the release of the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, which came in as expected, causing capital inflows into Bitcoin as investors looked to hedge against inflation.
CPI is a crucial metric calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This index tracks the average change over time in prices of a basket of goods and services consumers typically purchase, thereby serving as a vital indicator of inflation. The latest CPI data has revealed a 6% year-on-year increase in inflation, with a month-on-month figure of 0.4%, consistent with prior expectations. This represents a minor decrease from the previous month’s 0.5% rate. Nevertheless, market experts anticipate a 25-basis-point rate hike during next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Although, the recent events in the U.S. banking sector may impact their decision.
The release of the CPI data triggered volatility in conventional financial markets, with Bitcoin reacting positively and surging to $26,500, a gain of 16%. Ethereum also saw increases, rising 9.67% daily to $1,750. With this, the Bitcoin bulls remain ecstatic as the asset’s price increases well after the surge.
Overall, the recent surge in Bitcoin’s price highlights its growing importance as a hedge against inflation as investors seek to diversify their portfolios and protect their wealth. Read more on this here.
Credit Suisse bank on the Brink of Collapse
The financial world is again bracing for a possible crisis as Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest creditor, faces the threat of collapse. The bank has suffered five consecutive quarters of economic losses and massive deposit outflows, leading to a potential bank run contagion that has now spread to Europe.
The U.S. banking sector has recently experienced unprecedented events, including the announcement of liquidation by Silvergate Bank and the collapse of global institutions such as Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Such occurrences have yet to be witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008. The spotlight is on Credit Suisse, a global investment bank that operates in over 50 countries and manages assets worth more than $1 trillion.
On March 15, 2023, Credit Suisse’s share price dropped almost 30%, triggering alarm bells across the industry. As a result, the bank is expected to borrow approximately $53 billion from the Swiss National Bank to reinforce its liquidity proactively. The stock price crash followed the announcement by the Saudi National Bank, Credit Suisse’s biggest backer, stating that it could no longer support the Swiss lender, leading investors to dump billions worth of CSGN shares.
With interest rates in the E.U. steadily rising, Credit Suisse’s illiquid assets, including mortgage bonds that have yet to reach maturity, have weakened in value. This has significantly reduced the bank’s base capital and put it at risk of insolvency. And in light of the recent bank failures, the banking industry is still grappling with the fallout, and all eyes are now focused on Credit Suisse. With the bank’s financial situation becoming increasingly uncertain, whether the bailout money it is borrowing will be enough to prevent insolvency remains to be seen.
Uniswap V3 Launches on BNB
Uniswap, one of the most popular decentralized exchanges, has recently announced the launch of Uniswap protocol V3 on the Binance Smart Chain (BNB Chain). Implementing Uniswap protocol V3 on the BNB Chain received 66% of voter support, following a controversial proposal by 0x Plasma Labs. Over 55 million UNI token holders voted in favor of the proposal, paving the way for the integration of Uniswap into the BNB Chain ecosystem.
According to the announcement, this move is expected to result in several significant benefits for Uniswap users. These include lower fees, an increase in users, and the opening of new geographic markets, all of which will help enhance accessibility and liquidity for Uniswap Protocol users. This move is also expected to improve Uniswap’s ability to serve all users within the Web3 domain better, taking an essential step towards decentralizing finance and empowering individual investors.
The launch is timely because it meets the DeFi sector’s demand for improved accessibility and interoperability across blockchains. As more people join the ecosystem to take advantage of what DeFi has to offer, the launch is anticipated to accelerate the growth of both Uniswap and BNB Chain. Read more on this here.
Meta Ending Support for its NFT Programs
Meta, the parent company of social media giants Instagram and Facebook, has announced that it will end its support for NFTs on its platforms. The decision comes just ten months after the launch of its NFT programs, which included tests of minting and selling NFTs on Instagram and the ability to share NFTs on both Instagram and Facebook.
In a series of tweets, Meta’s head of commerce and financial services, Stephane Kasriel, stated that the shutdown will allow the company to “focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.” The decision to wind down NFT integration on its platforms may surprise some, especially after Meta’s push into digital collectibles last year.
Meta’s recent decision comes amidst the company’s “year of efficiency,” marked by the layoffs of thousands of employees and the shuttering of several projects. While the decision may disappoint some, it highlights the importance of adaptability and openness to change when required. It also underscores that the world of digital collectibles and NFTs is still in its early stages, and companies are still trying to figure out how to best incorporate this technology into their platforms. Read more on this here.
Salesforce entering Web3
Salesforce, the customer relationship management software firm, has launched a new NFT management platform called Salesforce Web3 to help its clients create token-based loyalty programs. As per Decrypt, the platform allows businesses to mint and sell NFTs, monitor blockchain activity, and view real-time customer data. It was launched after a pilot program of 257,000 transactions with Salesforce clients such as Crown Royal, Scotch & Soda, and Mattel.
One of the most exciting and powerful things about the platform is the access it gives businesses to first-party data. As regulations shift and privacy concerns become more important, the ability to engage directly with customers and have access to their data is becoming increasingly valuable. According to Adam Caplan, GM of Web3 at Salesforce, “the crypto wallet becomes powerful, so I can directly engage with a customer and have access to that first-party data.”
Caplan also noted that the platform has built-in consent and privacy tools to enable wallet owners to share all their information if they want or just a little information.
Salesforce Web3 is blockchain-agnostic, which supports proof-of-stake chains and is compatible with Ethereum or Polygon. Caplan mentioned that many brands using the platform want to pay the gas fees for the end consumer, so they don’t need to understand what gas fees are or why they’re needed. He also pointed out that they prefer to avoid using industry jargon like “blockchain” or “NFT” to minimize friction and promote mass platform adoption. For them, the most crucial aspect is the customer experience, regardless of the technology’s name.