1. ARK’s January mARKet update Focused on the Potential for Much Lower-Than-Expected Inflation
Cathie Wood and her analyst team discussed ARK’s innovation research and investments in the context of the macroeconomic backdrop. Special guest Nancy Lazar, Chief Economist of Cornerstone Macro, weighed in on the macro backdrop, particularly the outlook for much lower-than-expected inflation. mARKet update also highlighted ARK’s most recent blockchain research, On-Chain Data: A Framework to Evaluate Bitcoin.
As usual, mARKet update featured vigorous Q&A focused on questions from the public. ARK encourages anyone interested in innovation to submit mARKet update questions on Twitter using hashtag #AskARK, in email at [email protected], or in the chat during the webinar.
2. The First Pig-to-Human Heart Transplant Signals Hope for Organ Recipients
This week, transplantation science achieved another milestone as surgeons completed the first pig to human transplant, mere months after the transplantation of a genetically engineered pig kidney at NYU Langone Hospital.
Previously used in applications as diverse as pancreatic cells for diabetes, heart valves, and skin for burn victims, porcine organs have become attractive for xenotransplantation because they can achieve human dimensions in roughly six months. This week, the xenotransplanted heart included ten genetic modifications: four genes knocked out to prevent heart growth and human rejection, and six genes knocked in for organ compatibility with the human immune system.
3. Crypto Adoption Is Surging in Emerging Markets
Crypto activity in Turkey and Brazil surged this week, signaling a potential increase in cryptocurrency adoption in developing economies. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chainalysis reported that cryptocurrency trading volumes in Turkey increased 1065% from $169 million on average per day during the fourth quarter of 2020 to $1.8 billion last quarter in response to a depreciation in the Turkish lira. Tether, a controversial stablecoin, gained ground in Turkey, outpacing both the dollar and the euro.
In Brazil, Mayor Eduardo Paes, announced during Rio Innovation Week that Rio de Janeiro would invest 1% of its Treasury in bitcoin and deduct 10% from all property taxes paid in bitcoin. Mayor Paes’s announcement followed his conversation with Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami.
As highlighted in ARK’s whitepaper, Bitcoin As An Investment, bitcoin could become an important savings vehicle in emerging markets, so much so that businesses might prefer payments in bitcoin instead of in fiat currency. If so, the velocity of fiat currencies could increase, exacerbating inflation and currency devaluations. Worst case, hyperinflation could render dollar-denominated debt worthless.
While the Bitcoin network is nascent, demand for bitcoin in emerging