Weekly Radar (October 20, 2022)

This post was originally published here

People’s Bank of China is building a Great Wall around its currency. But will it be enough to contain its ongoing devaluation?

As the euro has fallen below parity with the dollar and the British pound plunges toward a one-for-one exchange rate, another currency is weakening against the dollar: China’s Yuan. The People’s Bank of China fixed the value of the Yuan at more than 7 to the dollar for the first time in more than two years, making it the weakest fixing of the Chinese currency since July 2020. At the same time, the PBoC also introduced new measures to slow the pace of the Yuan’s depreciation by tightening a technical regulation to make it slightly more difficult for traders to place large bets on its further decline.

The Yuan’s downward movement consolidated China’s currency’s drop of around 12% against the dollar, and not even the increase of the foreign exchange risk reserves from zero to 20% prevented it from reaching a new low of 0.1390 USD. Will it pass below this landmark by the end of the year? The Polkamarkets Community is leaning toward the continuity of its downfall, with the YES position priced at 0.666 GLMR. Let’s see if the future proves them right or if China will pull something out of its sleeve to stop its currency depreciation.

Queen’s Gambit was a fantastic TV series involving Chess, but nothing prepared us for the drama this game brought to real life.

In September, chess world champion Magnus Carlsen accused a younger grandmaster, Hans Niemann, of cheating after losing a game to him in the 2022 Sinquefield Cup. The case has rocked the chess world, exposing a long-known but little-discussed endemic online cheating problem, and has even gone on to captivate the general audience’s attention, although mainly because of the rumored (but highly improbable) methods he allegedly used to cheat.

Weeks after the scandal erupted, a 72-page report published by Chess.com revealed that indeed Niemann had very likely cheated over 100 times on its online platform, while at the same time clearly stating that it had found no statistical evidence or indication that Niemann had ever cheated over-the-board, including against Carlsen, in line with claims from Kenneth Regan, FIDE’s own cheating expert.

The explosive report did nothing to squash speculation from Carlsen and other grandmasters about Niemann’s alleged over-the-board cheating. It has, however, increased the pressure on FIDE, the game’s governing body, and on Chess.com itself, to have clearer and stronger fair play policies.

FIDE — the international governing body of Chess — has inflicted exemplary sanctions on proven fraudulent players and teams over the years, but has only acted on hard facts, avoiding any reputational damage toward potentially innocent players: players had to be caught red-handed using regular smartphones in bathrooms, or other methods often involving cutting-edge communication technology, to merit a ban.

With all this considered, it will be interesting to know if FIDE, or any of the “internet detectives” that appeared throughout this scandal, can gather hard proof of Niemann’s misconduct over-the-board, or if FIDE will take into account a player’s online cheating history and somehow restrict their ability to participate in official over-the-board tournaments, effectively banning Niemann from playing chess professionally. Although the Polkamarkets community is somewhat divided (YES position priced at 0.435 MOVR), other prediction markets strongly consider it unlikely to happen. Only time will tell who predicted it better, but remember that, unlike in Chess, you can always change your move until the expiration date.

SpaceX’s quest for outer space has been around the corner for over a year. Will it happen now?

SpaceX’s Starship may be on the verge of making its first orbital flight in the coming weeks. Since its prototype labeled SN15 completed a high-altitude flight (within Earth’s atmosphere) and landed without exploding on May 5, 2021, the spacecraft hasn’t left the ground. Since then, SpaceX has been gearing up for its first-ever orbital test flight. If it is proven to fly to outer space, the company could accelerate its ambitious plans to take people and cargo to the moon, Mars, and other distant destinations.

The always-optimistic Musk said last month that Starship could possibly complete its mission as early as October, and “highly likely” in November. But the spacecraft still needs to make it through pre-launch tests, and get the final okay from the Federal Aviation Administration for its demonstration flight, which can once again delay Musk’s ambitions. The quest for space sits between the harsh reality of earthly facts and the bright spirit of those who dare to challenge them. So will Starship fly beyond Earth’s atmosphere before January 31, 2023? The Polkamarkets Community is leaning slightly towards success, with the YES position priced at 0.530 GLMR. But, as you know, nothing happens as planned when Musk is at the wheel, so you may want to keep an eye on SpaceX’s Youtube channel and track the progress of Starship’s maiden voyage.

Under the Polkamarkets Radar

Will Liz Truss outlive the UK’s criticism? Or even outlast the lifespan of a lettuce?

Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, had been in office for less than a month when her reign started to dive deep into crisis, sending Britain wobbling on the brink of recession. Since she took over from Boris Johnson at the start of September (as predicted by the Polkamarkets Community), her popularity nose-dived, starting with her statements over the death of Queen Elizabeth II. And when the national mourning period ended, Truss announced a radically new economic agenda of tax cuts and spending worth tens of billions of pounds funded by borrowing — the actual total of which is still unknown — in an attempt to make a grandiose debut that severely backfired.

Her policies violate public spending curbs and seem to go against the orthodoxy established by the three Conservative prime ministers before her that tried to emphasize fiscal prudence, and clearly shocked the financial markets.

Truss’s drive for growth proved too radical for investors, sending the British Pound to its lowest value against the USD, to the point where the Bank of England was forced to intervene and avoid a raid on pension funds.

The mini-budget included many controversial policies, ultimately leading to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s ousting and putting his replacement, Jeremy Hunt, at the helm to lead the efforts on reverting the initial plans and the heavy consequences that the announcements already had on the British economy.

But will this be enough to save the Prime Minister’s job? Downing Street thinks it’s possible, as it works diligently to try to show that Truss has listened and is making amends. But the media coverage has already priced in a departure, and the momentum towards her removal is building up. Many seem to think her tenure will end before Christmas. Others even wonder if her mandate will outlast a lettuce’s lifespan. The future can land somewhere in between, and maybe the Polkamarkets Community can help us foresee it.

Forecast the future with Polkamarkets Protocol. Check out the app at https://app.polkamarkets.com

About Polkamarkets

Polkamarkets is an Autonomous Prediction Market Protocol built for multi-chain information exchange and trading where users take positions on outcomes of real-world events–in decentralized and interoperable EVMs.

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