Weekly Pulse #4: March 25th – 31st

Mark Vermeulen, 3 min read
Last Updated: 31 March, 2024

Crypto Markets Weekly Recap

SBF Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

The story of Sam Bankman-Fried’s rise and fall concluded this week with a 25-year prison sentence. Judge Lewis Kaplan highlighted the severity of SBF’s crimes against the industry and its investors, despite Bankman-Fried’s apology and appeals. The only remaining question is where he will serve his time.

Coinbase’s legal battle with the SEC persists, despite hopes that the case would be dismissed. A court decision allowed most claims to proceed, while dismissing those against Coinbase Wallet. Coinbase sees this as an opportunity to gain insight into the SEC’s stance on crypto regulation. The exchange’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, emphasizes the importance of developing clear digital asset legislation in the US.

April Airdrops Set to Inject Billions into the Market

April is shaping up to be a significant month for degens, with several substantial airdrops poised to inject billions into the market. Ethena will airdrop 5% of its total supply (~$600M in ENA) on April 2nd, followed by Wormhole distributing 17% of its supply ($3B) on April 3rd. Later in the month, Solana protocols Parcl and Kamino will drop over $200M in the ecosystem. With April historically being a strong month for Bitcoin, this additional stimulus may lead to an exciting ride.

KuCoin Founders Charged with Violating Anti-Money Laundering Laws

The Department of Justice charged offshore exchange KuCoin’s founders with violating anti-money laundering laws and concealing their US customer base. KuCoin operated without KYC requirements for years, adopting them only after coming under federal investigation. Following the DOJ announcement, KuCoin users experienced substantial withdrawal delays, which the exchange decided to compensate with an airdrop announcement. Interestingly, the complaint document defined Ethereum as a commodity, potentially weakening the SEC’s case.

ETF Filings and Comments from Blackrock CEO

New filings for ETH ETFs from Bitwise and Fidelity, along with comments from Blackrock CEO Larry Fink, suggest that an ETF is still possible even if ETH is considered a security. Both ETFs included staking, following the trend of ETFs being updated to include this feature.

Legacy Markets Weekly Recap

Tesla’s Dismal Quarter Ahead of Deliveries

Tesla’s shares plunged 29% in the first quarter, the sharpest decline since late 2022, as investors grow anxious about delivery numbers. The company faces challenges such as rising competition from China and European disruptions.

Economic Data and Earnings

The week ahead will feature key economic updates, including the US monthly payrolls, ISM PMIs in the US, Caixin PMIs in China, and Eurozone inflation figures. The US earnings season, starting April 14, is eagerly awaited despite limited corporate data. The Federal Reserve’s key measure of inflation, the PCE price index, rose in line with expectations.

Reddit Stock Nosedives, AMC Flops Following Stock Sale

Reddit’s stock nosedived nearly 25% over two days, ending the week below its initial closing price after a post-IPO surge. Recent filings revealed significant share sales by the company’s CEO and COO. AMC Entertainment’s stock fell 14.29% following the announcement of a $250 million stock sale.

S&P 500 Posts Best Q1 Performance in Five Years

The S&P 500 soared 10.16% in Q1 2024, its best start in five years, buoyed by rate cut forecasts and megacap stock rallies. This surge, driven by AI enthusiasm and dovish Fed signals, propelled the index to new all-time highs.

USD Strengthens, Prompting Central Bank Intervention

The dollar is strengthening against nearly all major currencies, prompting central banks, such as those in Japan, China, and India, to either intervene or contemplate intervention to support their currencies.

Looking Ahead: Earnings, Proxy Battles, and Tesla Deliveries

The upcoming week will see earnings reports from PVH and Paychex, providing insights into consumer behavior and the health of small and medium-sized enterprises. Walt Disney’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday concludes its intense proxy battle with activist Nelson Peltz. Tesla’s Q1 deliveries report is under close watch, as the company faces challenges that could affect delivery figures and investor sentiment.

Mark Vermeulen

A native of the Netherlands with a degree in finance, Mark has emerged as an avid crypto enthusiast and expert. His dedication to blockchain technology and bitcoin adoption has made him the driving force behind the Dutch content of Ecoinomy. Mark's adventure began during college, where his passion for decentralized finance quickly caught his eye. His ability to simplify complex concepts around crypto has earned him prestige among Dutch investors and far beyond.