“We are printing money, we are creating government bonds, we are borrowing on unprecedented scales. Those are things that surely create more of a risk of a sharp dollar decline than we had before”. These are words from Larry Summers, Former Chief Economist of the World Bank, as concerns over inflation continued to rise amidst a heavily short market.
The Federal Reserve indicated that they are edging towards a discussion about tightening monetary policy, as the dollar held against the euro and the yen this week.
Gold is widely regarded as an asset for hedging against Inflation, but it is important to reiterate Bitcoin’s case. And another cryptocurrency, which might be falling into a new light.
Gold vs Stock: the CPI conversation
When it comes to the basic understanding of the effects of inflation, it translates to the reduction of purchasing power. Therefore, investing in assets during inflation should aim to appreciate more than the CPI i.e the Consumer Price Index. CPI includes the cost of services, utilities, food, transportation, etc which goes up during inflation hence reducing cash purchasing power.
Talks about inflation always lead to the idea of buying gold, and according to data, it has been effective…sometimes.
Analyzing hedging against the mid-inflation period i.e 1-4 years, it can be observed that gold was a brilliant hedge during the 1970s and early 2000s. However, during the 80s and 90s, gold did not perform as well as expected. The main issue was that it became a commonality for people to buy gold to tackle inflation. When inflation wasn’t the concern, gold didn’t really perform to improve more than the CPI. So, it was more like cyclic protection.
Stock provided a similar safety net. However, investing in stocks would not have protected investors against inflation in the 70s. It performed well in the mid-80s, and through the 2000s, it was neutral.
The revealing factor was that Gold and Stocks provided protection in cycles against inflation, and they followed the opposite paradigm. Hence, investors possibly do not have a track record of recovery in both cycles, consistently.
Bitcoin and Ethereum: the new hedge option?
The case for Bitcoin as an inflation hedge has been discussed on an extensive level but the recent decline raised criticism yet again. However, when we crunch down the numbers, Bitcoin has a different story to tell.
While Bitcoin does not carry a capacious amount of data, whatever information it exhibits, all indicate a prominent signal. On a yearly basis, Bitcoin protects investors 85% of the time from inflation. When it comes down to a two-yearly basis, Bitcoin is effectively 89% of the period. Finally, on a four-year term, Bitcoin has protected investors 100% of the time.
Bitcoin might not be the answer to inflation yet, but it’s place is undeniable in the present conversation.
Now, with Ethereum, it can be considered a surprise inclusion.
A misconception with digital assets is that coins without a fixed supply will act as inflationary currencies, whose market value will decrease in time. Bitcoin maximalist regularly raises this concern against Ethereum, whenever ETH is considered as a store-of-value.
While Bitcoin has a fixed supply, Ether follows a fixed issuance schedule, where every block issues coins into circulation. No matter the number of active users, number of transactions, or the market price of ether, the total supply is programmed to increase gradually.
However, this is where it gets interesting. For a long time, the fixed issuance schedule of ether has undergone alterations. 4 years back, it was 5 ETH/per block. 2 years before, it was 3 ETH/block and currently it is down to 2 ETH/block. So technically, the supply is reducing, and ETH demand has certainly outpaced supply growth.
EIP 1559 can change everything
Ethereum is now reaching a point, where fee-burning protocol will further reduce ETH supply. EIP 1559, the controversial yet highly anticipated protocol is supposed to go live in the next couple of months, and depending on the activity of the network, EIP 1559 could burn more ether through base fees than the amount of new ether issued into circulation through miner block rewards.
Now the long-term outcome is definitely not guaranteed. Yet, Ethereum is beginning to tick the right boxes, and with Bitcoin, it can make its presence known, in the inflation-hedge debate.
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SEC, Ripple, XRP Lawsuit update: This is ‘something obviously the SEC does NOT want to see happen’
The ongoing case between the United States SEC and Ripple Labs was already seeing a lot of back and forth before John Deaton and XRP Holders filed a motion to intervene. While the defendants, for their part, have come out in support of the movants’ motion in “limited capacity,” the regulatory agency has vigorously argued…
The ongoing case between the United States SEC and Ripple Labs was already seeing a lot of back and forth before John Deaton and XRP Holders filed a motion to intervene. While the defendants, for their part, have come out in support of the movants’ motion in “limited capacity,” the regulatory agency has vigorously argued against both the motion and Ripple’s “limited participation” idea.
The SEC’s latest response to both has fueled quite a reaction within the crypto-community, with most on the fence with respect to what they expect might happen next. Jeremy Hogan, however, isn’t one of them, with the popular attorney recently going on Twitter to air his views on the agency’s response to XRP holders’ motion to intervene.
According to Hogan, the aforementioned response “jumped the proverbial shark,” with the attorney implying that the SEC’s latest argument is unlikely to fly and be accepted by the court in the present case. Here, the argument that Hogan was referring to was the allegation that Ripple and Deaton and XRP holders are in cahoots with each other and are colluding to beat the SEC.
Such an allegation is an extension of similar statements made by the SEC in the past. In fact, in its initial reply to Deaton’s motion to intervene, the agency had accused the movants of “reciting” the defendants’ litigation position. Even in its present response, the SEC has alleged that the movants won’t be impartial and objective participants, with the agency adding,
“….. Movants would act as friends of the defendants, not true friends of the court.”
It’s worth adding, however, that for his part, Hogan seemed to agree with the SEC’s contention that XRP holders shouldn’t be “injected as full litigants.” Instead, he said,
“I think the Judge should (and will) grant limited “amici” participation – something obviously the SEC does NOT want to see happen.”
Hogan, ergo, seemed to side with Ripple’s conditions for XRP Holders’ participation in the present case.
The popular attorney also took issue with the fact that the SEC has failed to recognize the value of the new insights and facts the movants might be able to bring to the said litigation.
What does the SEC’s latest response, the sheer tone and animosity of it, mean for the prospect of settlement, however? Well, according to the attorney, “it doesn’t change anything.”
Finally, Hogan observed,
“Lawyers are not supposed to make baseless accusations against opposing counsel yet, here we are…”
This is a telling statement to make, especially since something similar was implied by the intervenors’ latest memorandum of law against the SEC’s opposition. In his submission to the court, Deaton had claimed that he was being “unfairly targeted as an unhinged conspiracy theorist crusader.”
Matic & Loopring: Why these projects matter to Ethereum’s performance
With ETH’s price back in the $2900 range, there has been a lot of debate on the level of security Layer 2s provide, their long-term ROI, and the sustainability of their price rally. After crossing the $4000 level on May 12, the price dropped, several times and the scaling solutions’ have rallied. Consider the analogy,…
With ETH’s price back in the $2900 range, there has been a lot of debate on the level of security Layer 2s provide, their long-term ROI, and the sustainability of their price rally. After crossing the $4000 level on May 12, the price dropped, several times and the scaling solutions’ have rallied.
Consider the analogy, someone with $100 can save or store it in several ways as they would like. There is the option of storing it in a wallet, keeping it in a bank, or in the security of a vault. However, with Ethereum, a trader with $100 worth of ETH would have to use all ways at once – store in a wallet, bank and vault at once. Does that make it inefficient and unnecessary?
What L2 solutions do is that they offer the option of one way instead of many, making it efficient. These L2 solutions are projects like MATIC, Loopring, OMG. All three projects have offered high short-term ROI since the launch of ETH L2. In the case of MATIC, the number of transactions and the transaction volume have increased significantly since the launch.
The altcoin now ranks 14 in the top 25. The transaction volume for nearly all three projects has increased, on account of significantly high fees of settling transactions on the ETH network. According to data scientist @ASvanevik, MATIC has the largest inflow of stablecoins of any Ethereum address in the last 7 days. This signals increasing demand for MATIC, while the price rally extends beyond the 105% from last week.
In the case of Loopring based on the following data from Lunarcrush.com, the Galaxy Score Trend, a combined measure of health, quality and performance, is at 63, lower than the peak it hit the second week of May 2021. The social volume has dropped considerably and the demand across exchanges has dropped. It is anticipated that once the social volume recovers and trader sentiment is neutral, Loopring would offer high short-term ROI like other L2 scaling solutions.
L2 solutions are likely to remain relevant for a long time; as ETH transaction fees remain high, traders and ETH Maxis have been bullish about MATIC and Loopring. MATIC already offers side chains and plasma and has a roadmap to introduce optimistic and Zk rollups in the future which is likely to increase ease of use. In the war of L2 scaling solutions, ease of use is the key factor, after demand and ROI. Long-term ROI is anticipated to be high for ETH and scaling solutions alongside it.
What’s next for XRP’s price following these court proceedings
The ongoing legal battle between the SEC and Ripple has been somewhat of a rollercoaster for XRP traders and HODLers. There is uncertainty in the price of the altcoin, as a result of this legal debacle. The SEC has argued from the beginning of this enforcement action that XRP is a security. The impact of…
The ongoing legal battle between the SEC and Ripple has been somewhat of a rollercoaster for XRP traders and HODLers. There is uncertainty in the price of the altcoin, as a result of this legal debacle. The SEC has argued from the beginning of this enforcement action that XRP is a security.
The impact of the recent updates is that XRP’s price is at $1.44, down nearly 5% in the last 24 hours. There has been an increase of nearly 50% in the trade volume in the last 24 hours. The altcoin’s price is nearly 62% below the ATH of the $3.84 level based on data coinmarketcap.com.
The social volume hit a peak several times, following updates from the SEC vs Ripple hearing. It has dropped to 16258 based on the above chart, following SEC’s argument that XRP holders are actually XRP investors. This is akin to an attack on XRP HODLers’ portfolio given the impact on the ROI in the short-term. (Ironically, the SEC’s motto is to “protect investors”)
Based on the above chart, XRP traders have earned less than 15% ROI in the past 30 days and that makes it less profitable than most altcoins in top 10. Similarly, for HODLers who accumulated when the price was at $1.9 level, they are currently unprofitable. The volatility has nearly dropped, with a few spikes following updates from the hearing. At the same time, XRP’s correlation with BTC and ETH is above 80%. This has helped the altcoin’s price sustain at the $1.6 level against the selling pressure on spot exchanges.
In its latest filing, the response from SEC makes the hostile stance towards XRP traders clear. The updates in court proceedings have by no means safeguarded the interests of XRP traders. The short-term ROI is expected to drop further following updates.
The enforcement action brought by the SEC may have never been intended to protect or negatively impact XRP’s price, however, at a time when nearly every mid to small-capitalization altcoin is rallying this summer, XRP’s rangebound price action is largely a result of the SEC proceedings against Ripple.
XRP traders have responded to this action, by consistent demand across spot exchanges and the market capitalization is currently above $51 Billion, the altcoin ranks 7 and there are currently no signs of dropping below the top 10.
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