🌳 SNB Cuts Interest Rates To Manage Inflation; OKX Exits India Amid Regulatory Uncertainties

22 Mar 2024, Friday

3:04 AM

🌳 SNB Cuts Interest Rates To Manage Inflation; OKX Exits India Amid Regulatory Uncertainties

BTC

ETH

S&P Futures 500

$65,732.92

$3,490.73

$5,309.25

(-2.97%)

 (-0.79%)

(+0.17%)

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


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Our Daily View

What We Are Covering Today

  • SNB cuts rates amid inflation control; Japan faces complex inflation and rate hike challenges (More in Macro & TradFi)
  • OKX terminates service in India; ASIC to build ‘outcome-based’ crypto policies (More in DeFi & CeFi)
  • Chainlink leads developer activities in the last 30 days; Blockwork analyst shows bottleneck in L2 gas fees amidst Base’s on-chain volume surge (More in On-Chain)
  • 7-day IV and 30-day IV exhibit continued divergence; 30-day 25-delta skews for BTC and ETH continue to decline (More in Crypto Derivatives)
  • BTC consolidates at $65.9K support level; ETH testing former resistance turned support level (More in Crypto Technical Analysis)

Macro & TradFi

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has led major Western economies by implementing an unexpected quarter-point cut to its interest rates, bringing it down to 1.5%. This reduction, marking the first by a central bank in a major Western nation since the surge in global inflation following the COVID-19 pandemic, contrasts with the more cautious stances of other central banks, such as the European Central Bank, which remains wary of persistent inflation. The Swiss interest rate cut reflects the SNB's successful inflation management over the past two-and-a-half years, with inflation now consistently below 2%—a level the SNB associates with price stability. The SNB takes a proactive and independent approach to monetary policy, setting a precedent for its global counterparts amid ongoing inflationary challenges.

In other news, Japan's core inflation witnessed its quickest acceleration in four months this February, with a significant increase to an annual rate of 2.8%, up from January's 2% rise. This uptick, primarily attributed to diminishing gas and electricity subsidies, marks a notable shift. However, the inflation measure that excludes both food and energy costs, often regarded as a more critical gauge, recorded a slowdown for the sixth consecutive month. As it is known, the "core-core" index rose by 3.2%, a deceleration from the 3.5% observed the previous month. This nuanced inflation landscape presents a complex scenario for the Bank of Japan, especially following its decision to raise interest rates for the first time in 17 years, indicating a challenging path ahead in its monetary policy management.

U.S. stocks witnessed gains, fueled by the anticipation of lower interest rates affirmed by Federal Reserve officials forecasting three rate cuts within the year. The S&P 500 Index saw a modest increase of 0.32%, with the Nasdaq Composite edging higher by 0.44%, thanks largely to notable gains in the technology sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also experienced growth, rising by 0.68%. Highlighting the day's trading, Reddit surged by 48.35% on its market debut, while Micron Technology leaped by 14.13%, marking its most significant jump in 12 years following a positive sales outlook driven by the heightened demand for its AI computing memory chips.

CeFi & DeFi

  • OKX terminates service in India
  • ASIC to build ‘outcome-based’ crypto policies
  • French Energy Giant EDF Subsidiary Becomes Chiliz Blockchain Validator
  • Pixels Crypto Game Fuels Resurgent Ronin Blockchain

OKX is closing its services in India nearly three months after the Indian government's financial watchdog, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), warned nine foreign crypto exchanges about compliance issues. India's booming cryptocurrency market is attractive to foreign exchanges, but the lack of clear regulations and the government's unpredictable actions make it a challenging place to operate. Despite talks about regulating crypto for nearly four years, the Indian government hasn't shown any signs of officially recognizing or setting rules for this growing market. Furthermore, the hefty 30% tax on crypto income with no provision to offset losses, along with a 1% tax on each crypto transaction, drove several major crypto companies to relocate their operations outside of India. 

In other news, ASIC is currently focused on building and releasing a range of regulatory reforms for the crypto sector in a bid to solve the “regulatory trilemma” when it comes to financial innovations, such as consumer protection, market integrity, and encouraging financial innovation. They aim to foster trust in the digital assets industry by increasing their oversight and finding a balance between three key goals: security, innovation, and accessibility. By enforcing clear regulations that ensure a fair and safe crypto market for everyone, these rules seek to protect consumers and investors from scams and other risks, while also being easy to follow and enforce. This provides a safer environment for traders and investors in the digital assets industry to operate, which is a positive step towards innovation and regulatory clarity.

On-Chain

According to the data from @santimentfeed, Chainlink leads in developer activity over the last 30 days. Its GitHub activities were focused solely on significant updates, innovations, and improvements in project repositories. Surprisingly, @ethstatus, which aims to integrate on-chain wallet and social media features into a single crypto super app, ranked third, following Chainlink and Cardano making it the only non-blockchain project on the list.

Meanwhile, Blockworks analyst @WestieCapital conducted an analysis revealing that the Base Chain generated a substantial $1.57M in fees yesterday, while only paying $5K to post data on the ETH mainnet following the recent Dencun upgrade. This underscores the increased demand for the Base Chain and Ethereum block space. Additionally, it suggests that data availability may not be the primary bottleneck for high gas fees, but rather the elevated execution count on Layer 2 solutions. This prompts further consideration of the underlying design of many Layer 2 scaling solutions.

Crypto Derivatives

  • Funding rates remain positive for both BTC and ETH.
  • Deribit Implied Volatility Index (DVOL) for BTC and ETH increased slightly to 74.83% and 77.66%, respectively.
  • The 30-day 25-delta skew (C-P) for BTC and ETH declined slightly to 1.36% and -1.80%, respectively.
  • The futures market witnessed $179.82M in liquidations, with shorts representing 61.8%.

Top 3 USDT Perpetual Funding Rate Arbitrage Opportunities

Net Annualized APR

Perp (USDT pair)

Long on

Short On

58.49%

DOGE

OKX

dYdX

54.75%

DOGE

Bybit

dYdX

53.53%

DOGE

Binance

dYdX

Notes:

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

2) CEXs observed include Binance, Bybit, OKX & dYdX.

3) Lookback period is 24 hours.


Today's Bitcoin (BTC) ATM Implied Volatility (IV) chart indicates a marked divergence between the 7-day and 30-day maturities. The 7-day IV, after a period of heightened volatility, has declined and is now trending lower than the 30-day IV. This suggests that short-term volatility expectations have eased relative to the medium-term. The recent decline in the 7-day IV could be due to market participants digesting recent BTC price movements. The steadier 30-day IV implies that while short-term volatility is subsiding, there is still anticipation of more significant price fluctuations in the medium term.

The term structure for BTC has retained its contango shape following two days of backwardation. Generally, this pattern suggests that the market expects more stability in Bitcoin's price in the near term, with uncertainties and potential price movements increasing over time. The initial spike in the Mark IV for the very short-term expiries could reflect a residual reaction to recent price actions and the FOMC rate decision. It then normalizes and aligns below the Shadow IV as the term lengthens which implies that the market consensus is that the short-term reactions will subside, and longer-term factors will drive the volatility landscape for Bitcoin.

Today's BTC's 25 Delta skews illustrate a continued divergence between the 7-day and 30-day implied volatilities. The 7-day skew takes a noticeable dip signaling that option investors at 25 delta are on aggregate more bearish over the next 7 days. However, the positive 30-day skew indicates that option investors still have a favorable outlook on BTC’s price over the next 30 days.

In today's trading session, @Paradigm reported that a 438x BTC Call Spread for 12-Apr-24 at $74K/$88K was bought. BTC also had a 387x Straddle for 29-Mar-24 at $68K and a 250x Call for 29-Mar-24 at $66K both bought, and a 200x Call for the same date at $69K and a 190x Call for 27-Sep-24 at $100K were sold. For ETH, significant moves included an 8750x Call for 29-Mar-24 at $3.9K purchased, an 8500x Call Spread for 26-Apr-24 at $3.5K/$4.5K bought, and a 2165x Put Fly for 29-Mar-24 at $3.8K/$3.6K/$3.4K acquired. A complex 2500x Custom structure for 31-May-24 with strikes at $4.5K/$6K/$7K and a 2000x Call Spread for 22-Mar-24 at $3.35K/$3.5K were also traded, the latter being sold.

Crypto Technical Analysis

In technical analysis, the 4-hour BTC chart indicates that the price encountered resistance at the $68K level and is currently consolidating around the $65.9K level following the retracement. In the event of a bearish shift in market sentiment causing a downward price movement, we may observe a potential short-term support level around the $64.5K zone, representing a 2.1% decrease from the current level, with the next immediate support level at $62.1K. Conversely, if the market sentiment turns bullish, the $68K level remains the immediate resistance, offering a 3% upside potential if the price reverses.

Moving to ETH, on the 4-hour chart, the price has retraced slightly to $3.4K following a surge in buying interest, as evidenced by recent candlesticks. It is currently testing the former resistance turned support level in the range of $3.3K to $3.4K. If this support level fails to hold, the next immediate support level is at $3K, representing an 11.7% downside from the current price, based on historical support levels observed in February. Key resistance levels to watch would be between $3.9K to $4K, implying a possible 14.7% ascent from the present price. The RSI reading is approximately 51.94, indicating a slight bullish divergence as it rebounds from lower levels, though it still falls within a zone suggesting overall neutrality in the market. This recent breakout from the descending channel needs to be monitored for sustainability to confirm either a bullish continuation or a potential false breakout.

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