The Crypto Compass: Asset Flows, Market Stability, Coinbase’s Futures Frontier, and Singapore’s Stablecoin Standard

Master Ventures
10 min readAug 17



Welcome to another edition of Crypto Compass, your trusted guide in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. This week, we delve deep into a series of transformative events and regulatory milestones that are reshaping the contours of the digital asset landscape. From Coinbase’s monumental foray into crypto futures to Singapore’s proactive regulatory stance on stablecoins, the narrative is clear: The crypto realm is not only expanding but integrating more seamlessly with traditional financial paradigms. Join us as we unpack these developments, offering insights and analyses that position you at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Digital Asset Fund Flows: Riding the Wave of Resurgent Inflows and Bitcoin’s Bounce


This week, the digital asset landscape witnessed a marked resurgence in inflows, signalling a renewed investor confidence despite a complex economic backdrop. A total of US$29 million made its way into digital asset investment products, a shift largely attributed to recent US inflation data that hinted at a less likely rate hike in September.

Bitcoin, the proverbial bellwether of the crypto world, took centre stage, with inflows soaring to US$27 million. This resurgence comes on the heels of a three-week outflow period that saw a substantial US$144 million departure. Such a rebound underscores Bitcoin’s enduring appeal and its ability to rally even after sustained periods of outflows.

On the geographical front, Canada emerged as the hub of activity, accounting for a significant US$24 million of the inflows. Switzerland, in tandem, contributed with inflows amounting to US$8 million, further highlighting the global appeal of digital assets.

As for altcoins, Ethereum led the pack with inflows of US$2.5 million, while both Uniswap and Solana enjoyed positive traction. Notably, XRP maintained its momentum, continuing a 16-week inflow streak. Impressively, XRP’s assets under management have burgeoned by a whopping 127% since the dawn of the year.

In contrast, the short-bitcoin segment painted a different picture. Following a brief period of minor inflows, it reverted to its outflow trajectory, with a notable US$2.7 million exiting last week.


However, recent events have added a layer of complexity to this narrative. The crypto market, especially Bitcoin and Ethereum, experienced a dip after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted at more aggressive rate hikes to achieve its 2% inflation target. Bitcoin slipped below the $29,000 mark, reflecting a 2% decrease. This downturn subsequently affected the broader crypto market, dragging the total market capitalsation down by nearly $20 billion.

Ethereum wasn’t spared either. Struggling to maintain its position above the $1,800 mark, Ethereum’s price dwindled to $1,795, a 1.5% drop within a 24-hour window.

These market fluctuations weren’t isolated to the crypto domain. The equities market also felt the ripple effects, with the S&P 500 index recording a drop of 0.76%. Concurrently, the dollar index surged by 0.54% this week, reaching a one-month high due to the Fed’s rate expectations.

Amid these dynamics, the Federal Reserve’s commitment to curbing inflation has been unwavering. Last month’s rate hike pushed the benchmark interest rate to a staggering 22-year high, ranging between 5.25%-5.50%. Contrary to popular belief that this aggressive hike might be the last in a series aimed at countering inflation, recent meeting minutes revealed the Fed’s continued vigilance towards inflation risks. These minutes have further buoyed market expectations of subsequent rate hikes, with the CME’s FEDWatch tool recording a jump in trader expectations from 10% to 13.5%.

Given these economic tides, Bitcoin and other digital assets continue to navigate a complex market environment. The heightened borrowing costs, as a result of the Fed’s decisions, have posed challenges to growth and expansion, directing investors towards safer assets like Treasury bonds.

In conclusion, the digital asset market remains as dynamic and unpredictable as ever, influenced by a myriad of global economic factors. The dance between renewed inflows, the Fed’s policy decisions, and their subsequent market ramifications underlines the intricate nature of the the digital assets industry. As the it continues to evolve in response to these stimuli, we remain committed to providing timely insights, ensuring our readers stay well-informed and ahead of the curve.

Tides of Change: When Cryptos Out-stabilise Oil in Market Volatility


This summer, the cryptocurrency world has witnessed an unusual shift in its dynamics. Leading digital assets, Bitcoin and Ethereum, known for their notorious price volatility, have entered a phase of relative stability. In fact, according to Kaiko Research, the 90-day volatility indexes for Bitcoin and Ethereum have plummeted to multi-year lows, with reductions of 35% and 37% respectively. This places them below oil in terms of volatility, as oil’s volatility currently sits at 41%.

Historically, the crypto market has seen frequent and significant price movements. Kaiko analyst Dessislava Ianeva remarked on the current situation, labeling it as “unusual”. Elaborating on the phenomenon, she stated, “Bitcoin as an asset continues to mature.” This maturation suggests a possible shift towards broader acceptance and usage.

In parallel, the oil market’s volatility has experienced its own shifts. Despite its current higher volatility compared to leading cryptos, it has actually decreased from 63% in July 2022. Ianeva attributes the recent uptick since April to “an increase in geopolitical tension” and the less-than-expected economic impact of China’s reopening following stringent COVID-19 restrictions.

Another significant point from Kaiko’s research is the liquidity drought for both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both have hit multi-year lows concerning liquidity and trade volume. This is particularly noteworthy for Bitcoin, which has faced liquidity challenges since the collapse of several financial institutions earlier this year.

Ianeva provides a two-fold interpretation for the recent trends. On one side, she acknowledges the impact of the “traditionally slow summer months.” On the flip side, she identifies the “market looking for a narrative” as a potential cause. She further speculates that a spot Bitcoin ETF, which she believes is “still months away”, could be the catalyst to reinvigorate the market. This possibility is bolstered by BlackRock’s recent application for such an ETF, considering the firm’s impressive history of application approvals.

In conclusion, as the crypto landscape showcases unexpected tranquillity and oil takes centre stage in volatility, it’s crucial for investors and enthusiasts to stay informed. The intertwined futures of these markets, shaped by geopolitical, economic, and regulatory factors, promise further twists and turns.

Coinbase’s New Venture: Bridging the Crypto Futures Gap in the U.S.


Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, has made headlines with its recent announcement: they’ve secured regulatory approval to offer crypto futures to its U.S. clientele. This green light from the authorities could pave the way for blending two of Bitcoin’s markets, potentially fostering greater adoption and a more robust market ecosystem.

This new venture comes under the aegis of Coinbase Financial Markets, registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The plan? To present spot crypto trading alongside crypto futures, the latter of which underpins several Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S.

Coinbase’s foray into this domain was foreshadowed by its acquisition of FairX in 2022. This CFTC-regulated futures exchange, now christened as the Coinbase Derivatives Exchange, has been a game-changer, introducing nano Bitcoin and Ethereum futures contracts tailored for the retail sector. The subsequent launch of its expansive versions catering to institutional investors further accentuated its market prominence. This exchange, which welcomes an array of third-party brokers, FCMs, and market makers, boasts a robust liquidity pool. The impressive figures, with $4.7 billion BTC and $2.0 billion ETH futures traded in notional volume in 2023, underscore its market resonance.

Crypto enthusiasts will recognise Bitcoin futures ETFs, introduced in 2021, as instruments that provide investors with exposure to contracts on CFTC-regulated exchanges. While these contracts capture the right to buy or sell Bitcoin at a predetermined price in the future, they don’t equate to direct ownership of Bitcoin.

MicroStrategy’s Founder and Chairman, Michael Saylor, weighed in on this, stating the “open secret” that futures ETFs aren’t closely tracking Bitcoin. In his words, they’ve “underperformed Bitcoin’s performance this year.” But with Coinbase’s dual-trading mechanism in place, Stuart Barton of Volatility Shares projects a tighter alignment between Bitcoin’s spot price and its future contracts. As he elucidated, this alignment should enhance liquidity, arbitrage opportunities, and bring futures ETFs closer in spirit to spot ETFs.

Amid this, the long-anticipated spot Bitcoin ETF waits in the wings. Designed to allow institutions that can’t directly handle crypto to gain Bitcoin exposure via ETFs on traditional stock exchanges, several firms, including the world-renowned BlackRock, have submitted applications for this ETF to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC, however, has been reticent, expressing concerns about potential market manipulations.

Nevertheless, the introduction of Coinbase’s crypto futures trading platform in the U.S. stands as a significant milestone. CoinFund President, Christopher Perkins, believes that this could be the catalyst that propels more institutions into futures trading, given the compliant environment it offers. In his perspective, Coinbase’s foray can lead to “greater access to derivatives markets,” enabling a deeper, more liquid market landscape.

However, the journey ahead isn’t without its challenges. Regulatory ambiguities, particularly surrounding Ethereum’s classification as a commodity or security, cast shadows of uncertainty. Perkins highlights the need for clarity, emphasising that this “uncertainty” is detrimental, hampering market participants from effectively hedging risks.

In conclusion, Coinbase’s move into the crypto futures domain marks a significant leap forward, potentially reshaping the futures landscape in the U.S. As the crypto industry awaits further developments, the promise of a more integrated, liquid, and robust market is tantalisingly within reach.

Singapore’s MAS Unveils a Robust Stablecoin Regulatory Framework


In a landmark move, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has officially outlined the contours of a new regulatory framework tailored for stablecoins. Revealed on 15th August 2023, this initiative is the culmination of intensive deliberations, enriched by feedback from an October 2022 public consultation.

For the uninitiated, stablecoins are digital tokens meticulously crafted to ensure their value remains consistent relative to one or more designated fiat currencies. When anchored by stringent regulations to safeguard this value stability, stablecoins can morph into a reliable medium of exchange. This not only fosters innovation but also facilitates transactions like the “on-chain” buying and selling of digital assets.

The MAS’s framework zeroes in on single-currency stablecoins (SCS) tethered to the Singapore Dollar or any currency within the G10 spectrum, provided they’re issued within Singapore’s jurisdiction. To navigate this regulatory landscape, issuers of such SCS must meet specific criteria:

Value Stability: The reserve assets backing SCS will be subjected to meticulous mandates concerning their composition, valuation, custody, and audit. This is to instil a robust assurance of value stability.

Capital Maintenance: To mitigate insolvency risks and ensure a seamless business wind-down if the situation demands, issuers are mandated to uphold a minimum base capital and retain liquid assets.

Par Value Redemption: On receiving a redemption request, issuers are obligated to revert with the par value of the SCS within a five-business-day window.

Transparent Disclosures: Issuers are tasked with delivering clear insights to users, encompassing data on the value stabilisation mechanism, rights of SCS holders, and audit outcomes of reserve assets.

Navigating these criteria successfully permits stablecoin issuers to seek MAS’s recognition, allowing their stablecoins to bear the “MAS-regulated stablecoins” label. Such a distinction will empower users to differentiate between MAS-regulated stablecoins and other digital tokens, including those stablecoins not under MAS’s regulatory purview. Erroneously labelling a token as an “MAS-regulated stablecoin” can attract penalties and culminate in the entity’s inclusion in the MAS’ Investor Alert List.

Ms Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision) at MAS, articulated the framework’s objective as promoting stablecoins as a credible digital medium for transactions, bridging the conventional fiat with the digital asset ecosystems. She further urged SCS issuers to proactively gear up for compliance to ensure their stablecoins get recognised under the “MAS-regulated” banner.

For a deeper dive into the nuances of this stablecoin regulatory framework and insights from the public consultation, stakeholders and enthusiasts can turn to the official MAS website.


As the whirlwind week draws to a close, it’s evident that the crypto landscape is evolving at an unparalleled pace, with innovations and regulatory breakthroughs underscoring the sector’s resilience and dynamism. Coinbase’s regulatory triumph represents more than just an operational milestone; it’s a testament to the crypto industry’s commitment to harmonising with established financial structures. Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s refined stance on stablecoins symbolises global regulators’ growing recognition of digital assets as a legitimate and potentially transformative facet of the financial ecosystem.

Yet, amidst these advancements, challenges remain. Volatility, often the Achilles’ heel of cryptocurrencies, has taken a backseat, at least temporarily. This reduction in volatility, coupled with growing institutional interest and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance, paints a multifaceted picture. It’s a world where crypto isn’t just a fringe asset but a central player in global financial discourse.

At The Crypto Compass, we remain steadfast in our mission to illuminate these complexities, championing a future where crypto seamlessly intertwines with traditional finance. As we pivot towards another week teeming with possibilities, we’re reminded of the crypto industry’s inherent potential — a realm where innovation isn’t just welcomed; it’s celebrated. Together, as we traverse this dynamic landscape, we remain your compass, guiding you through the intricate maze of the digital financial frontier.



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