The successful upgrade of the Ethereum network from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, known as Shapella, has led to a surge in Ether’s price above $2,000, up almost 6%.
The upgrade allowed the withdrawal of over 17.4 million staked tokens, worth $35 billion, from Ethereum‘s proof-of-stake blockchain, eliminating concerns that ETH investors might not be able to reclaim their tokens locked up in staking contracts.
Ether’s price rise of 4.7% in the past 24 hours led to the upswing of the broader crypto prices, while Bitcoin lagged behind altcoins with only a 1.6% rise through the day.
This has caused a drop (-1.94%) in Bitcoin‘s dominance rate from an almost two-year record high (49%).
The trajectory of ether deposited into ETH staking contracts has steadily risen since January 2021, suggesting the asset is gaining favor.
The successful completion of Shapella signals reduced risk, increased liquidity, and an uptick in asset value.
Meanwhile, the bullish outlook for Bitcoin miners is helped by the cooling inflation and jobs market, which could lead the Federal Reserve to pause or even reverse its year-plus-long string of interest rate hikes.
Bitcoin miners’ stocks rose sharply on Thursday, with Marathon Digital and Hut 8 Mining up by 14.6% and 15.9%, respectively.
In France, despite crackdowns on digital assets in other countries like China and Singapore, President Emmanuel Macron’s welcoming approach has attracted companies such as Circle Internet Financial, and a few of the largest exchanges to make Paris their European base.
France’s share of venture capital deal-making in the crypto space has surged in the first quarter. However, there are still challenges such as France’s labor system and a potential political backlash should crypto be involved in more high-profile scandals.
Bitcoin Dominance (BTC.D) 47.93% (-0.62%)
Ether Dominance (ETH.D) 20.43% (+2.81%)
Macro: Bank Job and Inflation Data Indicates Stable Job Market, Softening Economy; Earnings and Recession Probability Now in Focus
US equities posted gains as the latest job and inflation data were slightly weaker than expected, indicating that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes may be coming to a close.
This saw the S&P 500 rise 1.3% and the Nasdaq 100 gain 2.0%. On the other hand, Treasury yields rose and the dollar lost ground against a basket of currencies.
The dollar weakened against all its Group-of-10 peers for a second day, causing a gauge of the greenback’s strength to fall to more than a two-month low. Amazon.com shares also rose 4.7% after unveiling technology for cloud customers and an AI marketplace.
However, SoftBank Group Corp. fell due to plans to reduce its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Meanwhile, Asian equity markets are expected to open higher, following a rally in US stocks, as economic data suggests that the Federal Reserve may be nearing the end of its aggressive rate-hike cycle.
Futures for equity benchmarks in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong all signal markets will open higher, while US futures were little changed.
This comes as the dollar continues to weaken against a basket of currencies, which may be good news for exporters in the region.
Investors will now be keeping a close eye on bank earnings, which will kick off with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., and Citigroup Inc. on Friday.
The commentary from executives on the probability of a recession is expected to be in focus.
It is worth noting that jobless claims for the week ended April 8 rose to 239,000, compared to a median estimate of 235,000.
This adds to evidence that the labor market is starting to soften. Additionally, producer prices fell in March by the most since the start of the pandemic.
However, this data is indicating that inflation is not surprising to the upside and that the job market seems stable.
“The first is that inflation is not surprising to the upside, and at the same time, the job market seems stable.
And so what we’re getting today is sort of an optimistic outlook that we’re going to have an almost like a Goldilocks situation where inflation’s going to slow, but the economy is not crashing,” said Que Nguyen, a chief investment officer of equity strategies at Research Affiliates.