Finimize - 💵 The UK turns its back on crypto

Crypto's fun might be over | Europeans are shockingly strong |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for March 25th in 3:07 minutes.

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Today's big stories

  1. The Bank of England is clamping down on crypto
  2. Ether is about to undergo a pretty radical shift, and it could be exactly what it needs to keep rallying – Read Now
  3. European business activity grew by more than expected despite war in the region

Fun Police

Fun Police

What’s Going On Here?

Well, it was good while it lasted: meeting minutes released on Thursday showed that the Bank of England (BoE) is calling for tougher crypto regulation.

What Does This Mean?

The entire crypto market is big and growing fast: it’s now worth $1.7 trillion, having grown tenfold between the start of 2020 and the end of 2021. And while that’s still a fraction of the $469 trillion sloshing around the global financial system as a whole, it’s still bigger than the $1.2 trillion subprime mortgage market that triggered the global financial crisis.

The BoE has noticed. In a meeting last week, the central bank said there should be tougher regulation in the UK and globally. As for what that looks like, it’s talking about requiring financial firms that invest in cryptocurrencies to hold significantly more cash than they do now, just in case everything goes south.  

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Bitcoin bucks.
The BoE’s not the only one concerned: the US government announced earlier this month that it’s looking into ways to better protect customers from the risks of trading crypto. But it’s far from turning its back on the digital space: it’s been thinking of ways to make the US a leader in the crypto world, potentially by launching a “digital dollar” backed by the real deal. That would expose a lot more Americans to crypto, which might explain why bitcoin has risen more than 10% since the news.

The bigger picture: VCs aren’t giving up.
Venture capital (VC) firms poured $32 billion into crypto startups last year, and it doesn’t look like the prospect of tighter regulation has put them off. Haun Ventures, for one, announced this week that it’s raised $1.5 billion to invest in firms specializing in the crypto space and web3. And there’s more where that came from: VC firms Electric Capital and Bain Capital Ventures raised $1 billion and $560 million for crypto-related investments earlier this month.

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Analyst Take

An End To Ether Mining Could Be Exactly What Ether Needs

An End To Ether Mining Could Be Exactly What Ether Needs

By Jonathan Hobbs, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

Ever since a particularly nasty correction in January, the ether price has rallied by 40%.

And sure, that could have a lot to do with the upswing cryptocurrencies have found themselves in, especially as investors get used to the idea of higher interest rates.

But it could have more to do with its shift from a “proof-of-work” model – which involves miners and mining – to a “proof-of-stake” system.

This shift could end up being a huge deal. For one thing, it could drive down supply, with one company estimating that the issuance of new ether could drop by as much as 90%.

For another, it could push up demand, particularly among green-fingered institutional investors.

So that’s today’s Insight: why the end of mining could boost the value of ether, and whether you should buy in.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

What’s Going On Here?

Data out on Thursday showed that eurozone business activity grew by more than expected this month, so conflict-averse economists can finally sleep a little easier.

What Does This Mean?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had serious knock-on effects across Europe, driving up the price of oil and forcing companies and consumers alike to pay more to keep things ticking over. So it stands to reason that economists might’ve been expecting European business activity to take a turn for the worse. Not quite: according to this month’s business activity survey, Europe’s companies have turned out to be surprisingly resilient. Manufacturing activity still managed to grow, if at its slowest since January last year. And while shoppers and drinkers might be cash-strapped, they’re not going to let that ruin their post-Covid revelry: activity across the region’s services industry saw an uptick too.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Mamma mia.
Europe’s businesses have one advantage you don’t: they can pass their higher costs onto customers. And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing, with an index tracking the prices of their products hitting a record high this month. Trouble is, that alone could push inflation even higher and take a serious toll on the region’s economies. JPMorgan certainly seems to think so: the investment bank just slashed its outlook for Italy’s economic growth this year from 4.8% to 2.5%, and Spain’s from 6% to 4.2%.

The bigger picture: Don’t tell the ECB the odds.
This data might vindicate the European Central Bank’s bravado from earlier this week: the ECB admitted that the Russian-Ukrainian war probably would impact economic growth in the region, but also said that it wasn’t too worried. In fact, it said it’s expecting the region’s economy to grow by 2.3% this year, even in the worst-case scenario.

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💬 Quote of the day

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (an American essayist, lecturer, and philosopher)
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Look at it this way: if you deposited £10,000 in an account that pays you 10% annual interest, you would get £1,000 in interest after a year.

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🎯 On Our Radar

  1. Time to live out your European travel dreams. First stop: Dubai.
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  4. Talk about uncomfortable jewelry. This crocodile’s accessory nearly killed it.
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