The U.S. stock market finished April significantly worse than before, with major indexes reaching recent lows. Bitcoin and the entire crypto market continue to trend downward for the sixth consecutive week as the Fed shows no signs of slowing rate hikes to combat inflation. The stock market performance appeared to have little impact on the April jobs report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that American employers added 428,000 jobs in April, exceeding the expected result of 391,000. It was the 12th consecutive jobs report to show a monthly gain of more than 400,000.
Internationally, the Bank of England (BoE) warned that the U.K.'s economy might stall toward the end of the year as record-high inflation affects households, creating the possibility that no further rate hikes will be carried out. Several members of the Bank of England felt that further monetary policy tightening is still necessary in the upcoming months. However, many members voted against additional rate hikes, leaving an ambiguous result.
Thousands of Bitcoins Change Hands
The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), which is responsible for maintaining and managing the treasury of the stablecoin TerraUSD, announced that it has acquired an additional 37,863 bitcoins as part of its initiative to reach a total of $10 billion in Bitcoin reserves. The bitcoin was acquired through two transactions, one of which was a $1 billion swap of TerraUSD for bitcoin with crypto prime broker Genesis Global Trading. The other was a $500 million purchase facilitated by crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. While some speculate that these purchases may positively affect bitcoin's price due to the buying pressure of billions of dollars, many critics have pointed out that the bitcoin acquired by LFG may need to be sold if the price of bitcoin drops significantly. Following Monday's price swings, Bitcoin temporarily dipped below $30,000. Luna Foundation Guard began moving tens of thousands of bitcoins to "the hands of professional market makers" to maintain the stablecoin TerraUSD's peg of $1.
Bitcoin Mining Continues to Grow in the United States
Cryptocurrency mining giant Argo has announced its construction of a mining farm on a 320-acre plot in Texas is complete, with the facility fully energized and ready to start mining next week. Argo's total mining capabilities amount to 1.605 exahashes per second (EH/s), equivalent to about 0.7% of the Bitcoin Network's hash rate. Over the next few years, Argo says its new site will eventually harness 800 megawatts of electricity.
Chip producer NVIDIA agreed to pay a $5.5 million penalty to the SEC for failing to disclose the impact of cryptocurrency mining on its chip revenue in 2018. Agents claimed that during two quarters in 2018, NVIDIA didn't clearly state that surging demand from crypto miners was responsible for a significant part of the increase in sales of its graphics processing units, also used by gaming enthusiasts.
Meanwhile, a bill in New York aims to ban crypto mining. The bill, which has to make its way through the State House, calls for a two-year prohibition on certain mining operations that use proof-of-work methods to validate blockchain transactions. Energy critics claim that proof-of-work wastes energy that could otherwise be used elsewhere and often point to validation methods such as proof-of-stake as eco-friendly solutions.