The Weekly Pen: Bitcoin, Big Banks and Big Macs. Week42 that went by

# investing
# defi
# currency
# the-penning-drop
# ethereum
# defi
# crypto
# bitcoin

Fall is upon us, put calls are ahead of us, and trader brawls are occurring in the markets before us. Here’s what we recall from week42 that went before us. The Pen team once again brings you the top trending news from the DeFi, web3, and crypto space with a penned up view. Have a good read.


As Europe is preparing for a winter of its own amidst the rising energy crisis caused by the Ukraine-Russia turmoil, members of the European Union are doing their best to ease and hedge the luring consequences. E.g. Denmark is offering small businesses help packages to cope with the off-the-chart bills, the European Union is now looking to crack down on crypto mining, as officials believe shutting the key segment of the crypto industry could be one solution to the energy crisis. The EU is planning on cutting gas use by at least 15% through March 2023, by either load shedding or introducing tighter legislation to high energy-consuming operations. Do you see another way around it? Take a read for yourself.


JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, once very vocal and famously known for repulsion against cryptocurrency, previously referring to crypto tokens as “decentralized Ponzi schemes” (did he just admit that centralized Ponzi schemes happen all the time and that’s okay?), has always been a pro blockchain technology advocate. Why wouldn’t he since global central banks are already experimenting with CBDC and surely JPMorgan wants to be ahead of the curve for the transition? As if the back and forth about Jamie Dimon’s crypto sentiments were not confusing enough, their latest recruit is no other than Aaron Levine the former head of policy and regulatory affairs at the now defunct and scandalous crypto lender Celcius as…well director of crypto regulatory policy. Of course, Aaron would know everything there is to know about the do’s and don’t in this space and hopefully Jamie Dimon, unlike Alex Mashinsky will actually listen.


You want the full shopping experience, but without the hassle of getting off your couch, driving all the way to the shopping mall, finding parking or taking public transport, walking around, and spending more than necessary. Sounds too good to be true? It might not be. Adding to the ever-growing multiverses in the metauniverse spectrum, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart introduced “Flipverse”, a metaverse-based Shopping platform. This sounds and seems like a metaverse use case Penning can actually get on board with can you?


Raise your Pens if you weren’t an avid Reddit user before Wallstreet bets. Guilty “as charged”. They took on Wall street and arguably won. In recent times, they’ve joined movements in the decentralized space. Taking on (or joining, as many saw Reddit as default-decentralized hedge fund communities), with 3 million new users who turned to crypto in the quest to conquer one of Reddit’s collectible Avatar NFTs. And with 3 million users, it's meant as 3 million wallets. Talk about a catalyst to mass adoption. We won’t deep dive and crawl into the never-ending Reddit rabbit hole too much, you can just read for yourself here.


Since the birth of Ethereum (the 2nd largest blockchain in the crypto space after bitcoin), few have taken the battle to proclaim themselves as the Ethereum “killer”. From Solana paving its way to create “neo-rich” kids on the block (no pun intended), to the latest Solana “killer” Aptos. While the idea and mission of Aptos were the tokenomics suffered some slippery faults. Like many other grandiose blockchain networks with native tokens, Aptos too, prior to their launch on various exchanges had received criticism regarding the number of their native tokens (APT) being in possession of private investors. While in the centralized financial markets, lock-up periods are a given clause to ensure healthy and steady stock price growth, it is a lesser common practice among decentralized projects. The price crashed more than 68% and is currently in the $billion market cap range, with no sight of bottoming.  


Mastercard is set to bring crypto trading capabilities to banks, with their new crypto source program. From a survey conducted by their program, they reported that 29% (respondents) globally holds cryptocurrency as an investment, with an additional 65% indicating a preference for crypto-related services to their already existing financial institutions. Neobanking companies like Revolut, Lunar Bank amongst others, have long since introduced crypto trading capabilities, and now centralized payments giant Mastercard is joining the battle for crypto traders and consumers with not only trading capabilities but with crypto spend and cash-out capability offerings as well. It is still being prepared for pilot programs, and like Penning, trust is its business.


The Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” levels. It was basically a comparative tool to, well compare the living costs between countries. Someone from the Penning management team once commented that maybe it’s time to bring back the Big Mac Index, and low and behold, Mcdonald's will accept Bitcoin and tether in a Swiss town. Could it be a way to tell how much spending power crypto bagholders have by making them buy more big macs, or is it a coercive consumer-oriented conspiracy to quantitively ease inflation from decentralized financial space, proving once again its value to society? Too far? Is it being reintroduced? You tell us.

Till we yield again.