The European economy grew 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022 over last year, and 1.9% for the eurozone.
The latter saw an increase of 0.1% quarter over quarter, beating expectations of a contraction of 0.1%.
Inflation remains very high however at about 10%, though half that for France and Spain, with the European Central Bank expected to increase interest rates by another 0.5% to 2.5%.
That’s significantly below US rates at 4.5%, but Europe is growing more as US saw just a 1% growth in Q4 over last year.
On the crypto front, Boerse Stuttgart Digital was launched in a partnership by the Boerse Stuttgart Group, Axel Springer, and SBI Group via SBI Digital Asset Holdings.
“With Boerse Stuttgart Digital, we create a one-stop shop for institutional and retail clients along the entire value chain of cryptocurrencies and tokens. We are highly regulated, stable and transparent,” said Dr. Matthias Voelkel, the CEO of Boerse Stuttgart Group.
While a New York lawmaker, Clyde Vanel, wants state agencies to accept crypto for fines, taxes and the like.
The bill is unlikely to pass with New York not quite known as crypto friendly, but that there’s cryptonians in the state assembly is nonetheless good to know.
They’re apparently even at Harvard where a paper suggests that central banks should hold crypto if they’re at risk of Russia style sanctions.
“A modest risk of sanctions significantly increases optimal gold and Bitcoin allocations,” Matthew Ferranti from the Department of Economics at Harvard University says, adding:
“If a central bank cannot acquire sufficient physical gold to hedge its sanctions risk, the optimal Bitcoin share rises further, suggesting that gold and Bitcoin are imperfect substitutes.”
In China they’re having a different sort of debate with Huang Yiping, a former member of the monetary policy committee at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), subtly suggesting the crypto ban may have gone too far.
A permanent “no” to crypto related products could result in missed opportunities in technologies such as blockchain, which are “very valuable” to regulated financial systems, Huang reportedly said.
Meanwhile in Panama crypto is seemingly causing some sort of a constitutional crisis with a bill approved by their Parliament sent to the Supreme Court by their president.
The bill initially allowed even the payment of taxes in crypto, but the el presidente said: “Among the considerations made by the Executive when objecting to the bill submitted to the National Assembly, it is specified that the legislative initiative requires ‘adaptation’ to the norms that regulate the financial system and the Panamanian monetary model.”
WGMI, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF is the top performing fund of the year, gaining 105% this month.
CoinShares also revealed that crypto ETPs saw inflows of $117 million, the highest since July, with $116 million of it going to bitcoin.
That brings assets under management by crypto funds to $28 billion, up from November by 43%, albeit still considerably down from some $67 billion in October 2021.
Better than it was however, indicating that hopes of some sort of a recovery apply to institutional investors too.
Regarding the latter, Stone Ridge Asset Management has launched Proof Insurance Solutions, a managing general agent (MGA) with a focus on underwriting risks from the blockchain and digital asset sectors.
They are licensed to provide insurance in 51 US states, with this potentially being a growing business after the FTX collapse last year.
In completely different news, a Russian ransomware hacking group Black Basta has itself been hacked by Quadrant Security while they were hacking one of their client.
Hacking hackers so being our favorite sport, we’re quickly off to bitcoin ATMs which keep growing.
Bitcoin Depot Inc., a U.S.-based bitcoin ATM operator, signed agreements with convenience stores like FastLane, Gas Express, High’s, Majors Management and Stinker Stores, bringing 440 additional retailer locations across North America in the second half of 2022.
Bitcoin Depot now enables users to convert cash into bitcoin at approximately 7,000 kiosk locations in 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces.
7,000! Some might even remember the very first one, but there’s first ones all the time in this space including new NFTs by the English Premier League.
That’s soccer for the Americans, the foot ball game. These NFTs in addition are by Sorare, which runs on ethereum.
Little known, they claim partnerships with 300 football clubs, allowing these NFTs to be used in their own football game.
Pretty cool and we’re done, although we can let you know the pandemic is officially over with the H.R. 382, Pandemic is Over Act, set to end the emergency.
That’s about three years since it began, closing that chapter which no one really wants to remember.
And that’s it for this session. February starts tomorrow with it anyone’s guess whether this will be an Upruary too, but apparently every time January closes in green means a green year end.
A Finder poll claims ethereum is expected to climb to US$2,474 before ending the year at $2,184, according to Finder’s latest Ethereum Price Predictions report.
That’s at least up, right. Not $1 billion per eth as some might claim during bull, but up nonetheless and that’s good enough during bear.