Happy Singles Day!!
The eleventh day of the eleventh month has indeed evolved into the biggest commercial consumer extravaganza in the world by far and this year’s festivities have already broken several online shopping records.
The Alibaba countdown concert featured American pop star Taylor Swift who got the party started off right, online sales had already topped $13 billion in the first hour and according to this live counter by now $BABA has already smashed last year’s record of $30 billion.
To put the number into context, in 2018 Amazon’s online sales for the entire year were approximately $232 billion.
What amazes me most about this holiday is the way that it’s evolved into a full-on live entertainment celebration where celebrities across dozens of streams are currently showcasing products for people to buy. This is not the China I’m used to seeing.
- Where’d the Recession Go?
- Stocks Falling
- Bakkt Gaining Adoption
Eleven eleven is not the only thing being celebrated in the financial markets today as it seems the odds of a recession hitting have come way down in the last few weeks.
One month ago in an update titled Bad Crypto, we showed how the US yield curve was quite warped. Instead of bond yields rising over time, it was clear that investors were pricing in troubled times for at least 5 years out. But now, somehow, the yield curve has completely fixed itself.
Here, just check out this beautiful rising line where bond yields grow the further out they go. Exactly as they should.
In this article from September, many well-respected economists were posting their expectations of a recession before the US elections at 50% and higher. Today, I’ll bet you that most of them are ready to eat their words.
The main headwinds that were cited at the time were the US-China trade war and Brexit, or in short, anti-globalization sentiment. Though I’m not sure what’s really changed from then until today.
Despite the two featured stories above, it seems that stocks are coming down somewhat today. The losses seem to be originating from Hong Kong, which is down 2.7% today after another protester was shot and one man was set on fire, as tensions continue to escalate.
It’s quite odd to see the China 50 index dropping on a day like today but here it is…
Blockchain in Malta
Now that things have had time to settle, I owe you an update on my recent trip to Malta. But first I wanted to highlight that things have had time to settle in the crypto market as well.
Exchange volume has returned to normal levels, as have transactions on the bitcoin blockchain and I’m happy to report that volumes on Bakkt’s futures contracts continue to rise. Yesterday, a new all-time high volume of $15.5 million was reached and today seems capable of even breaking that. As of this writing, 813 BTC has been traded for approximately $7 million and the day is just getting started.
They may have gotten off to a slow start but these derivatives are fast becoming a major player in bitcoin’s price discovery and overall liquidity.
Overall, I would say that the AI & Blockchain Summit was quite remarkable. The turnout was fantastic and I got to meet a lot of awesome and interesting people. The highlight for me was seeing the rap icon Akon give a speech about social impact, a term that by his own admission he had only recently learned the definition. His reminder that everything we have in our lives is a blessing will stay with me for a long time to come.
It was also great to finally be interviewed in the flesh by the lovely Jessica Walker who I’ve been working with for well over a year. As well as doing a fireside chat Mr. Monty Munford who is incredibly experienced and a really funny guy. As well as a panel talking about the integration of crypto into traditional finance.
The incident that I think really embodied this trip happened in a private media room where I was preparing for an interview with Craig Cobb, a really cool trader who’s quite popular in Australia. All of a sudden, Craig S Wright walks into the room.
For those of you who don’t know, CSW is an Australian professor who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto but seems to have lots of trouble proving it. Here’s a webpage that tracks the evidence against his claims. I didn’t really want to speak with him but the dude came up and shook my hand anyway. Craig and Craig then had a brief discussion about who the real Craig is.
Through all the good that’s being done in the crypto industry, what’s quite clear to me after 10 non-stop hours in the biggest blockchain conference in Europe, there’s still a lot we need to do to clean up this industries image.
Senior Market Analyst
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