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Dollar edges down, ether’s 2-month high fuels crypto rally

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The dollar struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors maintained their expectations for the timing of Federal Reserve monetary easing this year. Meanwhile, Ether was poised for its largest two-day gain in nearly two years, and Bitcoin neared a record high amid speculation about U.S. spot exchange-traded funds that would track the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. The euro rose 0.12% to $1.0869.

Investors are anticipating Thursday’s data from the European Central Bank (ECB) negotiated wage tracker and the euro zone Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which could offer further insights into the euro area’s monetary policy cycle. In contrast, the U.S. economic data calendar is sparse this week, so investor focus is shifting to numerous Federal Reserve speakers. Several officials on Monday emphasized the need for continued policy caution, even after last week’s data showed a slowdown in consumer price pressures in April.

Money markets are currently pricing in 42 basis points (bps) of Fed rate cuts in 2024, suggesting one 25 bps reduction and a 68% chance of a second cut by December, down from fully pricing in two cuts before recent hawkish comments from Fed officials. They are also betting on 63 bps of ECB rate cuts in 2024, down from around 73 bps in mid-May. Analysts noted that Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic’s comments, which indicated the Fed’s benchmark rate might remain higher than in the past decade, were supportive of the dollar.

“We expect the dollar to weaken after the first rate cut (by the Fed), which markets now price in September, but we also see the risk of a delay in monetary easing with the Fed making the first move in December,” said Athanasios Vamvakidis, global head of forex strategy at BofA. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar dropped 0.08% to 104.52.

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George Saravelos, global head of forex research at Deutsche Bank, argued that there is a risk of greater divergence favoring the Fed, combined with the dollar’s status as a high-yielding currency, which supports its strength. The upcoming Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index report, the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, due on May 31, will be closely watched.

In the cryptocurrency market, Ether jumped 6.2% to $3,715.60 after reaching $3,730.70, its highest level since March 16. It surged nearly 14% in the previous session, marking its largest daily percentage gain since November 2022. Bitcoin surpassed the $70,000 level and was last trading 2% higher at $71,128, approaching its all-time high of $73,803.25 reached in March. Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG, noted that the rise in cryptocurrencies was partly driven by last week’s U.S. inflation data, which boosted risk sentiment and brought rate cuts back into consideration.

Against the yen, the dollar dropped 0.06% to 156.20, close to its lowest in over 30 years at around 160. Fears of intervention from Japanese authorities deterred traders from pushing the yen to new lows, though the significant interest rate differentials between the U.S. and Japan continued to make the yen an attractive funding currency. “Forex interventions can buy some time and temporarily avoid an excessive depreciation of the yen, but if the Fed starts cutting later than the markets currently expect, it can become challenging for Japanese authorities to keep the yen below certain levels,” Vamvakidis from BofA argued.

The Canadian dollar remained flat at $1.3627 ahead of inflation data later in the session. “We have called for a Bank of Canada (BoC) rate cut in June for the past couple of months, and are expecting that to make the loonie increasingly less attractive compared to other commodity currencies,” said Francesco Pesole, a strategist at ING. According to a Reuters poll, the BoC is expected to cut interest rates three times ahead of the Fed’s first move.

The New Zealand dollar fell 0.03% to $0.6103 ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy meeting, which is expected to maintain its key interest rate at 5.50% on Wednesday.

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Source: reuters.com

The post Dollar edges down, ether’s 2-month high fuels crypto rally appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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New seed-stage VC fund from Finland secures €6 million in initial close for €30 million blockchain fund

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Helsinki-based Equilibrium Ventures (EQV), a new seed-stage venture capital fund focused on the crypto sector, has successfully closed the first round of its €30 million fund, raising €6 million from limited partners (LPs). This milestone highlights growing interest in blockchain startups and a promising future for the European crypto ecosystem.

The fund is led by an experienced team of partners: Mika Honkasalo, Henrik Sundvik (formerly of Bain & Company), and Christopher Ahn (ex-Molten Ventures investor). Equilibrium Ventures aims to attract and support founders with deep technical expertise in blockchain technologies, covering areas such as zero-knowledge proofs and smart contracts, essential for developing advanced blockchain solutions.

Equilibrium Ventures has attracted a diverse group of backers, including strategic investors, family offices, and notable LPs like Sebastien Borget, co-founder of the metaverse platform The Sandbox. This support underscores the fund’s credibility and signals growing confidence in crypto investments despite recent market challenges.

Dedicated to crypto infrastructure, Equilibrium Ventures emphasizes rigorous technical due diligence and value addition for pre-seed and seed engineering firms. With a network of about 70 blockchain engineers, mainly based in Europe, the fund is well-positioned to help startups develop robust blockchain technologies.

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The renewed interest in venture capital investment in blockchain, bolstered by evolving regulatory landscapes in the US and Europe, is expected to increase investor confidence in the crypto sector. Equilibrium Ventures, with its technical expertise and strategic support, is poised to become a significant player in Europe’s crypto venture scene.

Looking ahead, Equilibrium Ventures aims for a second close by the end of this summer, targeting 80% of the total fund. This progress indicates strong momentum and the potential for significant contributions to the European blockchain ecosystem.

Source: arcticstartup.com

The post New seed-stage VC fund from Finland secures €6 million in initial close for €30 million blockchain fund appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Riot Platforms Acquires 14% Stake in Bitfarms Ltd.

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Riot Platforms, Inc. has announced its acquisition of a 14% stake in Bitfarms Ltd., as detailed in a recent press release by Riot Platforms. This move aligns with Riot’s strategy to influence corporate governance within Bitfarms.

Acquisition Details

On June 13, 2024, Riot Platforms purchased 1,432,063 common shares of Bitfarms Ltd., representing about 0.35% of Bitfarms’ issued and outstanding common shares. The shares were bought on the Nasdaq Stock Market and other open markets at an average price of approximately $2.70 per share, totaling $3,870,293.46.

Before this acquisition, Riot held 56,194,973 common shares of Bitfarms, equating to 13.65% ownership. With the new shares, Riot now holds 57,627,036 common shares, resulting in a 14% stake in Bitfarms.

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Strategic Intentions

Riot Platforms intends to call a special meeting of Bitfarms’ shareholders to nominate several independent directors to the board, citing concerns over Bitfarms’ corporate governance. Riot seeks to influence Bitfarms’ strategic direction and enhance its governance standards.

Riot is continuously reviewing its investment in Bitfarms and may adjust its position based on factors such as market conditions and the company’s financial status. Potential actions include increasing or decreasing its stake, entering into hedging transactions, or proposing additional strategic measures.

Forward-Looking Statements

The press release includes forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties, reflecting Riot’s current expectations and assumptions. Riot cautions investors to consider these risks before making investment decisions.

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Riot’s vision is to become the leading Bitcoin-driven infrastructure platform, focusing on a vertically integrated strategy with Bitcoin mining operations in Texas and electrical switchgear engineering in Colorado.

Source: blockchain.news

The post Riot Platforms Acquires 14% Stake in Bitfarms Ltd. appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Manta Foundation Unveils $50M EcoFund to Foster Blockchain Innovation

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The Manta Foundation has launched its $50 million EcoFund to build a robust ecosystem for leading blockchain projects, as per Manta Network. This initiative demonstrates the foundation’s commitment to funding opportunities and developer support for innovative blockchain ventures.

Funding and Support Opportunities
Starting June 15th, the one-year EcoFund will offer significant financial support through its Ecosystem Grant Program, which provides early-stage projects with grants of up to $50,000. This initial funding is crucial for bringing innovative ideas to life.

Additionally, the EcoFund dedicates $35 million for direct investments in promising projects on the Manta Network. These strategic investments aim to foster high-growth ventures that align with Manta Network’s long-term objectives, promoting a collaborative and mutually beneficial environment.

Diverse Project Focus
The Manta Foundation supports a broad range of projects across sectors such as DeFi, Gaming, NFTs, and more. These initiatives are chosen for their potential to drive consumer adoption and significantly enhance the Manta Network ecosystem.

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Applications for the EcoFund are accepted on a rolling basis, ensuring ongoing funding and support opportunities. The foundation prioritizes projects with robust business models and scalability, aiming to ensure the ecosystem’s financial health and sustainability.

Specialized Funding Categories

In addition to general grants, the EcoFund targets specific high-growth areas:

– AI/DePIN: Focused on using AI and Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks for sustainable solutions.
– Zero-Knowledge: Investments in zero-knowledge technology to boost privacy and security in the blockchain space.
– Memecoins: The Moon Mission Grant supports the development and growth of meme projects on Manta Pacific, fostering a vibrant memecoin culture.

Events and Hackathons
To further enrich the ecosystem, the Manta Foundation has allocated $5 million for online and offline events and hackathons. These events aim to attract new developers and users, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within the Manta Network community.

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Source: blockchain.news

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