Mastercard Follows Closely Behind Visa On USDC Settlements; Putin Unfazed By US Renewed Support To Ukraine

22 Feb 2023, Wednesday

3:11 AM

Mastercard Follows Closely Behind Visa On USDC Settlements; Putin Unfazed By US Renewed Support To Ukraine



S&P Futures 500







Note: All percentages shown above are referenced to the previous business work day's 09:00 (GMT+8)

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What We Are Covering Today

  • Putin vows for continued war until the goal is achieved; Morgan Stanley warns for possible equity market crash in 1H23 (more in Macro & TradFi)
  • Mastercard partners with Immersve to allow USDC payment on Mastercard network (more in DeFi & CeFi)
  • ETH non-zero addresses reach ATH; Inscriptions have doubled BTC block size in the last month (more in On-Chain)
  • Bearish flows dominate near term maturities while heavy topside buying is seen on June expiry (more in Crypto Derivatives)
  • BTC and ETH fail to break past $25K and $1.7K levels respectively (more in Crypto Technical Analysis)

Macro & TradFi

As an update to the Russia - Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to continue the invasion of Ukraine until Russia achieves its goals, during a state-of-the-nation address ahead of the one-year mark of the war. This comes after US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv, which resulted in a promise of $460 million in additional military aid to Ukraine.

On the other hand, Morgan Stanley strategists warn that expensive US equities could see the S&P 500 sliding by as much as 26% in the first half of this year, as the sharp rally this year has left them the most expensive since 2007 by the measure of equity risk premium, which has entered a level known as the "death zone." This warning comes as the possibility of a Federal Reserve pivot has been taken off the table, and earnings expectations are still 10% to 20% too high. Other Wall Street analysts have also warned of a potential downturn in the stock market.

Lastly, US markets have had the worst day in more than two months due to several new hawkish speeches by Federal Reserve members, re-emphasizing the 2% inflation target. To summarize, DJIA, SPX, and NASDAQ fell by 2.06%, 2.00%, and 2.50% respectively. Treasury yields spiked, with the 2-year rate jumping to 4.729% and 10-year rate to 3.947%, the highest it has been since November 2022.

DeFi & CeFi

  • Partnership between Mastercard and web3 payment protocol Immersve to allow USDC to be used on Mastercard’s network
  • Deutsche Bank successfully completed the proof-of-concept phase of Project DAMA
  • TipLink raises $6M in seed round led by Sequoia Capital and Multicoin Capital
  • Chaos Lab raises $20M in seed round led by Galaxy Digital and PayPal Ventures
  • Polygon Labs cut 20% of its workforce
  • Bosch partners with and commits $100M to a new foundation focusing on Web3, AI and IoT
  • Euro-backed stablecoin, EUROC, sets to launch on Coinbase on 22 Feb
  • Polyhedra Network raises $10M for zero-knowledge infrastructure

The partnership between Mastercard and Immersve would allow users to make real-time USDC payments at outlets that accept Mastercard online. And when the transaction is successful, USDC will be converted to fiat before being settled on Mastercard’s network. Furthermore, Web3 wallets and DeFi protocols could integrate into Immersve’s API and smart contracts to transact anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Deutsche Bank has successfully completed the proof-of-concept phase for Project DAMA (Digital Assets Management Access). DAMA would allow asset managers to launch their own digital asset funds with its soulbound token (SBT) with a direct fiat-to-crypto on-ramp for users. Institutional investors holding the SBT would provide the collateral to mint and receive the tokenized shares of the underlying digital investment. The next step would be exploring the use case for the DAMA project in Singapore, where there are currently 1,100 fund managers.


As the price rally in crypto continues, the number of addresses on Ethereum with non-zero assets has increased to an all-time high of 94.38 million. This shows the continued interest in the Ethereum blockchain and its associated assets.

Onto BTC, the average block size in BTC has significantly increased. On a 7D moving average, the mean block size has doubled from roughly 1.1MB to 2.2MB in the last month, which is mainly due to the fact that Inscriptions are including more data in the 'Data Discounted' witness part of the transaction.

Crypto Derivatives

  • BTC and ETH funding rates fell slightly
  • 30-day ATM IV fell to 57.34% and 62.18% for BTC and ETH respectively
  • 30-day 25d skew decreased to 1.01% and -2.52% for BTC and ETH respectively

Top 3 CEX USDT perp funding rate arbitrage based on last 24-hour lookback:

Net Annualized APR

Perp (USDT pair)

Long on

Short On













Source: @CexyArbBot Telegram

1) Pairs observed include BTC, ETH, SOL, BNB, XRP, LTC, DOGE vs USDT perps 

2) CEX observed include Binance, Bybit, OKX & DYDX

@CexyArbBot allows you to customize CEX, 100+ pairs & lookback periods combo

For futures, total liquidations over the past 24 hours amounted to $123.53M, the majority coming from longs at $93.79M. Open interest for both BTC and ETH futures fell by 1% overnight.

On the options front, near-dated IVs fell for both majors but far-dated IVs for BTC saw an uptick while remaining relatively flat for ETH. Term structure is now in contango for both majors. BTC 7-day 25d skew flipped back into put premium while back end skew remains for calls. BTC RV was flat at 56.69 while ETH RV saw a drop to 54.44. As a result, carry for BTC is almost zero while narrowing to 6.48% for ETH.

On the flow side, most of the past 24H volume was focused around 24 Feb for BTC as OI on the 26K suffered the biggest drop. In addition, there were fresh downside puts bought for both BTC and ETH at around $23.5K and $1.6K strikes respectively. Despite the bearish flows for near-dated maturities, there were some huge June topside bids at $45K and $3.5K strikes.

Lastly, the VIX spiked to 22.88.

Crypto Technical Analysis

Onto TA, BTC failed on its third attempt to break past the $25K mark, now falling under the $24.8K - $25.2K resistance zone. On the H4, the 100 & 200 MA have yet to cross while RSI lost its momentum, falling from 63 to 48. The next level to lookout is the $23.9K level should bears remain in control.

As for ETH, it failed in breaking past the $1.7K mark. ETH though still in the rising channel, fell below its resistance zone of $1.66K-$1.69K. 4H RSI puked massively to 41, falling below the neutral mark. The next support zone to follow is the $1.52K - $1.54K range.

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