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• Digital Currency Group to shutter institutional trading unit TradeBlock

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Venture capital conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) is closing its prime brokerage subsidiary TradeBlock, citing the state of the broader economy and an uncertain regulatory environment for crypto in the United States.

According to a May 25 report from Bloomberg, TradeBlock, led by Breanne Madigan, will officially begin the process of shutting down effective May 31.

“Due to the state of the broader economy and prolonged crypto winter, along with the challenging regulatory environment for digital assets in the US, we made the decision to sunset the institutional trading platform side of the business,” a spokesperson reportedly told Bloomberg. 

DCG and its portfolio of companies have faced challenges over the prolonged crypto winter. The closure of TradeBlock comes after DCG previously shut down its wealth-management division headquarters in January 2023.

• DeSantis looks like the choice for crypto enthusiasts in 2024

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Crypto Twitter discussions about law and policy are informed chaos, a specialized cacophony. Despite the drama involved with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement on Twitter that he was running for president in 2024, he made some alpha drops about his stance on crypto.

The key takeaways from Desantis’ remarks were that crypto owners “have every right to do Bitcoin,” and that central planners see Bitcoin as a “threat to them” that they want to regulate “out of existence.” He added that the Biden administration would ultimately seek to outlaw crypto, and he proudly emphasized that Florida last month became the first state to pass a law asserting it would never recognize a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

• Germany Enters Recession For The First Time Since 2020: Bitcoin Dumps

All news cited – Germany’s GPD dropped by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year. The figure, coupled with the 0.5% decrease in GDP in the fourth quarter last year, is a clear indicator: Europe’s leading economy has entered a recession. It’s the country’s first recession since 2020.

The energy crisis is said to be the root cause. Germany has endured a long period of power shortage since the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Efforts to seek alternatives for Russia’s gas didn’t pay off and high-interest rates dropped the final straw. People were cautious about spending, thus slowing down the country’s economy.

The global economic outlook faces heightened risks and mounting concerns about potential banking turmoils. Germany’s recession likewise fuels frustration across the rest of Europe. Now, with the major node weakened, the entire chain becomes more vulnerable.

• China Central Television airs crypto segment in rare move

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On May 23, state broadcasting corporation China Central Television (CCTV) aired a segment on the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong. As reported in the segment, Hong Kong regulators “have made final preparations” for the trading of virtual assets in the special administrative region and will accept applications from virtual asset trading platforms.

Zhonghui Cai, an official from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, explained during the airtime that the regulation of virtual asset providers faces challenges such as cybersecurity, surety of clients’ assets and potential conflict of interest between platforms and clients. Previously, Cointelegraph reported that while the guidelines will become effective in June 2023, the SFC has not approved any virtual asset trading platform servicing retail investors.

• Fed officials less confident on the need for more rate hikes, minutes show

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Federal Reserve officials were divided at their last meeting over where to go with interest rates, with some members seeing the need for more increases while others expected a slowdown in growth to remove the need to tighten further, minutes released Wednesday showed.

Though the decision to increase the Fed’s benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point was unanimous, the meeting summary reflected disagreement over what the next move should be, with a tilt toward less aggressive policy.

At the end, the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted to remove a key phrase from its post-meeting statement that had indicated “additional policy firming may be appropriate.”

The Fed appears now to be moving toward a more data-dependent approach in which myriad factors will determine if the rate-hiking cycle continues.

• Gaming is the ‘largest scale opportunity’ for crypto — Polygon co-founder

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Sandeep Nailwal, the co-founder of the Ethereum scaling platform Polygon, believes Web3 gaming will eventually become one of the biggest drivers of mass crypto adoption.

In a May 25 Ask Me Anything (AMA) in the r/India community on Reddit, Nailwal was asked what he sees as some genuine at-scale “real life” use cases for blockchain other than trading and payments.

In response, Nailwal stated: “I think gaming is the largest scale opportunity for crypto,” adding: “There are some top games launching in Web3 in the next 6-18 months and it would be very interesting to see if some of them are able to crack the crypto code. Last year itself there was $2 billion+ in funding for Web3 games.”

Concluding Notes:

  • TradeBlock is shutting down end of May
  • DeSantis looks like the choice for crypto enthusiast
  • Germany enters recession
  • Hong Kong is adapting crypto
  • Rate hikes could be over
  • Gaming has the most potential use case in crypto – says Polygon co-founder

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