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The Wolf Den #564 - It’s Quiet... A Little Too Quiet

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August 23 · Issue #564 · View online
The Wolf Den Crypto Newsletter
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In This Issue:
  1.  It’s Quiet… A Little Too Quiet
  2. Bitcoin Thoughts And Analysis
  3. Legacy Markets
  4. Voyager’s Internal Conflict
  5. The Fed Weighs In On Crypto
  6. A Penguin Sold For WHAT?!
  7. Why Is Meltem Demirors So Obsessed With CryptoDickButts
  8. My Recommended Platforms And Tools
It’s Quiet... A Little Too Quiet
The crypto space has become eerily quiet. A couple of months ago, the entire world was talking about crypto… but for all of the wrong reasons. Before that, crypto was in a roaring bull market that sparked the interest of even the most staunch critics. Then everything ground to a halt.
Google has a feature called “Google Trends” that allows you to type in a word and see insights on the popularity of that term over time.
Here are the numbers.
Bitcoin - The last time we saw Google searches for “Bitcoin” this low was early December, 2020.
Crypto - The last time we saw Google searches for “crypto" this low was early July, 2021
Ethereum - Ethereum is massively trending down since May of 2021, but searches for “Ethereum” are up very slightly right now in the short term.
Ethereum merge - All-time high.
NFT - The last time we saw Google searches for “NFT” this low was in late August, 2021.
Metaverse - The last time we saw Google searches for “metaverse” this low was early November, 2021.
Coinbase - Sharp decline from early 2021.
Inflation - At a 5-year high.
Dollar - Basically a 5-year high.
Interest Rate - Basically a 5-year high.
Bonds - Sideways for the past 18 years with a small increase this year.
Stocks - Sideways for 1+ years, trending slightly down from January, 2021.
S&P - Sideways since March, 2020.
Nasdaq - Sideways for the past two years.
Dow - Sideways since March, 2020.
From what I gathered, crypto is a ghost town and interest in stocks and bonds is flat. Concerns around inflation, the dollar, and interest rates are still very real.
Ethereum is an interesting case study. Everyone in our little bubble is talking about it, but the world clearly doesn’t care. Judging by global interest, Ethereum is almost meaningless.
The phrase “Ethereum merge” is up dramatically, but the word surrounds a specific event that is imminent, so this is a misleading data point. Google Trends compares interest over time, not total interest. It’s all relative.
If you were looking for evidence that we are “still early” and that crypto is still a very small bubble, then Google Trends should be all of the confirmation that you need. It is also quite easy to find confluence for this trend. Crypto Twitter activity is at bear market lows, new signups for exchanges have cratered, crypto quarterly reports are showing losses, and prices… well, we all know how that has gone. 
It’s difficult to say what the current price bounce off of the bottom means, but it certainly isn’t a definitive reversal based by new interest in the space. Metrics are still in the dumps. There is no real evidence to indicate that we are at the beginning of a bull market. For now, we have a bear market rally and likely need a strong catalyst or macro clarity to expect prices to rise dramatically. Personally, I’m staying neutral and continuing to dollar-cost average.
The interest will eventually return. It always does. That makes now a great time to accumulate for the patient.
Bitcoin Thoughts And Analysis
Nothing has changed in the past 24 hours. We will revisit tomorrow!
Legacy Markets
US Futures Rise, Treasuries and Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap - Bloomberg
What to watch this week:
  • US new home sales, S&P Global PMIs, Tuesday
  • Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks at a Q&A session, Tuesday
  • US durable goods, MBA mortgage applications, pending home sales, Wednesday
  • US GDP, initial jobless claims, Thursday
  • Kansas City Fed hosts its annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Thursday
  • ECB’s July minutes, Thursday
  • Fed Chair Powell speaks at Jackson Hole, Friday
  • US personal income, PCE deflator, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Friday
Some of the main moves in markets:
Stocks
  • Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.2% as of 6:06 a.m. New York time
  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100 rose 0.2%
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 was little changed
  • The MSCI World index fell 0.2%
Currencies
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro fell 0.1% to $0.9929
  • The British pound was little changed at $1.1773
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 137.35 per dollar
Bonds
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 3.02%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 1.32%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 2.53%
Commodities
  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.7% to $91.94 a barrel
  • Gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,751.80 an ounce
Voyager’s Internal Conflict
Voyager Customers Say No to 'Retention' Bonuses for Employees of Bankrupt Crypto Lender
Everyone loves a good bonus… except the Official Committee of Voyager’s Unsecured Creditors. The internal conflict arose after Voyager asked a federal judge for approval of a “Key Employee Retention Plan,” at the cost of $1.9M in bonuses. According to Voyager, the bonuses for the 38 employees are vital for the continued operation of the business, and without compensation, the key employees are at risk of resigning, causing a spiraling effect.
The committee feels otherwise and claims that the employees are already fairly compensated. In the eyes of the creditor, every dollar saved is one step closer to solvency. In the eyes of the debtor, all that matters is keeping the business alive and well.
What a sh*t show.
The Fed Weighs In On Crypto
Federal Reserve Board - Federal Reserve Board provides additional information for banking organizations engaging or seeking to engage in crypto-asset-related activities
Last week, the Fed sent a letter to all banking organizations supervised by the Federal Reserve regarding crypto. Below is the opener to that letter:
The emerging crypto-asset sector presents potential opportunities to banking organizations, their customers, and the overall financial system; however, crypto-asset-related activities may pose risks related to safety and soundness, consumer protection, and financial stability.
Not surprisingly, this is the only positive sentence in the entire letter - everything that follows is related to risk. The crypto risks listed were, “technology and operations, anti-money laundering and countering of financing of terrorism, consumer protection and legal compliance, and financial stability.”
A Penguin Sold For WHAT?!
Pudgy Penguins: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an NFT Collection
Did you think NFTs were dead? Pudgy Penguin #6873 says otherwise. This NFT sold for 400 Ethereum yesterday, worth $628,948 at the time of sale. Pudgy Penguin fans know that the project is a roller coaster, but if anything, I think the sale indicates that NFTs are here to stay. I’m not in the business of saying when, but odds are that NFTs will get another boom.
Why Is Meltem Demirors So Obsessed With CryptoDickButts
Podcast - The Wolf of All Streets
Meltem Demirors understands what drives much of the crypto market - community. Meltem has spent years in the industry, leading strategy at CoinShares, a digital asset investment firm. Arguably nobody has a better grasp of both the retail and institutional sides of the market or is deeper in the weeds of the most obscure projects and communities. We talked about how the rise of metaverses is driving an urgent need to create new infrastructure, why Bitcoin is a cult and why Meltem is so obsessed with CryptoDickButts.
My Recommended Platforms, Tools And Podcast Sponsors
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The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own and should in no way be interpreted as financial advice. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision. I am not a financial advisor. Nothing contained in this e-mail constitutes or shall be construed as an offering of financial instruments or as investment advice or recommendations of an investment strategy or whether or not to “Buy,” “Sell,” or “Hold” an investment.
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