Treasury Yields Flip Negative as Cryptocurrency Lending Takes Off: Kaiko Report

Real yields that recently hit their lowest levels since 2003 are going down as consumer prices increase at their slowest pace in six months, making fixed-assets in classic portfolios underperform.


The crypto market has been recovering from the July 21 low of just under $1.3 trillion, having reached $2.47 trillion when earlier last week, the market experienced a small hiccup yet again.

In the past week, the market has been trying to make its way back up again but is currently struggling to break out strongly above.

Still, Bitcoin is currently trading around $46,800 and Ether at about $3,400, while the total crypto market cap is now past $2.2 trillion.

Amidst this, as we reported, lending in the cryptocurrency sector has been taking off, with DeFi stablecoins’ interest rates continuing to increase. Stablecoins’ total market cap has also grown to $123.68 billion, from less than $6 billion in March 2020.

“Treasury yields flip negative as crypto lending takes off,” noted crypto data provider Kaiko in its latest report.

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US Treasury yields went down on Tuesday after data showed that consumer prices increased at their slowest pace in six months. The consumer price index, a key inflation report, showed a 5.3% year-over-year increase for August, and Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.1% month over month – both slightly less than the expectations.

In reaction to this, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.285%, and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond slid to 1.867%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Nonfarm payrolls, however, grew by just 235,000 in August, well below expectations of 720,000 new positions.

The Federal Reserve is currently monitoring the inflation, which it wants to see hit its 2% target and looking for strong employment results to start paring the monthly bond purchases.

Kaiko noted in its report that the Fed’s emergency monetary accommodation is what has put significant downward pressure on long-term bond returns over the past year.

“As global inflation increased and growth expectations worsened, real yields turned negative hitting their lowest levels since 2003 this past August.”

While fixed-income assets have been offering steady income flows, low volatility, and protection against falling equity valuations in a diversified portfolio over the past years, now that yields are drifting lower, the fixed-income allocation in the classic 60/40 portfolio is likely to underperform.

This combination of the ongoing low yield environment and the rising demand for liquidity in crypto markets is making the nascent crypto lending industry popular among market participants, it said.

In comparison to 0.7% per year paid by a typical savings account, even the centralized options in the crypto offer sizable returns ranging from 3% to 12%, which can get astronomical for big risk-takers.

In DeFi, the popular lending protocols Compound Finance and Aave have already launched their services specifically for institutions.

“Crypto lending allows users to supply cryptocurrencies in exchange for earning an annualized return, even in the absence of price appreciation.”

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