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Weekly Market Highlights: The Cardano Vasil Upgrade

Binance Research
2022-09-23 06:15
Happy Friday! The Weekly Market Highlights is an initiative from the Binance Research team to round up the week, summarizing key market events and views from the team.

🔎 Macro / TradFi

The Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by another 0.75% this week, bringing the benchmark rate to a range between 3% - 3.25%, a level last seen in 2008. This marks the third consecutive 0.75% rate hike as the Fed continues its fight against inflation. Looking ahead, the Fed’s dot plot suggests rates to rise by at least 1.25% in the two remaining meetings this year. Officials project the fed funds rate to hit a terminal rate of 4.6% in 2023. The S&P 500 closed lower by 1.71% and the Nasdaq tumbled 1.79%. The U.S. dollar index (DXY) topped 20-year highs, trading above 111 at the time of writing.
Several other global central banks also took action this week to combat inflation. The Bank of England raised rates by 0.5%; Norway’s Norges Bank raised rates by 0.5%; Sweden’s Riksbank raised rates by 1%; Switzerland’s National Bank raised rates by 0.75%. Japan left its policy rates unchanged but stepped in to shore up the Yen.

🔎 Crypto

Following the Ethereum merge last week is another significant L1 upgrade this week - the Cardano Vasil upgrade. The much-anticipated Vasil hard fork which comes after rounds of delays is expected to make the blockchain more scalable and lower transaction costs. Separately, BNB Chain continues innovating on the security front with the launch of AvengerDAO, a community-run security mechanism with a focus on detecting real-time vulnerabilities and exploits.The AvengerDao system consists of three major components: (1) Meter, a passive API system; (2) Watch, a subscription based alert system; and (3) Vault, a programmable fund management system. AvengerDAO comes shortly after the launch of the DappBay platform with the Red Alarm feature in July that flags potential high risk projects.
Exciting news for fans of Optimism and NFT collectors. Optimism launched Optimism Quests, which aim to educate new users on some of the most popular projects on the L2. Users are able to mint a NFT once they demonstrate knowledge in a participating project. There are currently 18 different quests (with plans to add more).
A call to action - users who have used Profanity in the past may want to consider moving funds to a different wallet. Market making firm Wintermute suffered a DeFi exploit that resulted in the firm losing about US$160M. Wintermute CEO, Evgeny Gaevoy, mentioned that the firm’s CeFi and over-the-counter operations have not been impacted and that the firm is “solvent with twice over that amount in equity left”. The attack was likely linked to a critical bug in the Ethereum vanity address-generating tool called Profanity.
The largest NFT marketplace is not resting on its laurels. OpenSea announced the launch of new features this week to provide an “immersive and secure minting experience”. These features include having dedicated drop pages for creators, letting collectors mint directly from OpenSea, and access to SeaDrop, a secure open source contract so that creators do not need to create custom smart contracts. This will help overcome challenges related to NFT launches such as technical and creative expertise requirements, and collectors’ concerns over safety of mints.
TradFi x Crypto:
Nasdaq is reportedly making its push into crypto with plans to offer digital asset custody services to institutional clients. The firm will start by offering Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) custody services for institutions.

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About Binance Research: Binance Research is the research arm of Binance, the world's leading cryptocurrency exchange. The team is committed to delivering objective, independent, and comprehensive analysis and aims to be the thought leader in the crypto space. Our analysts publish insightful thought pieces regularly on topics related but not limited to, the crypto ecosystem, blockchain technologies, and the latest market themes.
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