Major Cryptocurrency Developments in 2023:
Market Rebound: After a brutal 2022, the crypto market saw a significant recovery in 2023. Bitcoin doubled in price, reaching $30,000 by mid-year, and ending the year just over $44,000 USD.
Regulation and Scrutiny: Regulatory pressure intensified following the collapse of major companies like FTX. This led to increased focus on consumer protection, exchange licensing, and AML/KYC compliance.
Tech Advancements: Layer-2 scaling solutions and new validation protocols gained traction, aiming to address issues like scalability and energy consumption.
Binance faced scrutiny from US authorities regarding anti-money laundering (AML) and sanctions violations with a 7 Billion dollar settlement. CZ resigned as CEO and accepted a personal $50 million fine. Richard Teng became the new CEO in November.
SocialFi: The emergence of social media platforms that integrate crypto and DeFi features, such as Friend.tech, which launched on Coinbase's Ethereum Layer 2 chain, BASE. SocialFi aims to create more engaging and rewarding experiences for users, as well as new opportunities for creators and influencers.
NFTs Evolve: While the initial hype subsided, NFTs found new use cases beyond digital art, like gaming, music, and identity management.
Institutional Adoption: Traditional financial institutions like BlackRock and Grayscale showed increased interest in Bitcoin and crypto ETFs, hinting at potential mainstream integration and the increased talk about the Bitcoin ETF's
AI Revolution: The increased adoption and innovation of artificial intelligence and machine learning across various sectors, including crypto and DeFi. Chat GPT, an AI-powered chatbot that can interact with users and provide crypto-related information and services, was one of the most popular applications in 2023. Sam Altman's world coin project saw the intersection of blockchain and AI where the project seeks to validate whether contents were created my human's or AI using biometric data. World Coin (WLD) reached a high of $4.69.
Ethereum Evolution: The successful completion of Ethereum 2.0, which transitioned the network from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, improving its scalability, efficiency, and sustainability. Ethereum also maintained its lead as the most popular platform for DeFi and NFTs, as well as attracting new developers and users. Ethereum rose along bitcoin up 74% for the year.
What to Look for in 2024:
Regulation Landscape: The outcome of various regulatory proposals and lawsuits will significantly impact the industry's growth and direction.
Bitcoin's Price Movement: The price of Bitcoin continues to be a crucial indicator for the overall market. A potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF could further push prices upwards. Bitcoin is in a position to surpass it's all time high of $69.044 USD
The Bitcoin Halving should occur in April 2024 reducing the financial incentive for miners, reducing the new supply, and potential having a positive impact on the price. There have been three halvings so far: 2012, 2016, and 2020.
Tech Innovations: Continued development of scaling solutions and privacy-enhancing technologies could attract wider adoption.
Fallout from FTX Collapse: Litigation and investigations surrounding FTX's demise could reveal further industry vulnerabilities and trigger reforms.
Real-World Use Cases: Increased focus on practical applications of blockchain technology beyond speculation, especially in DeFi, e-commerce, and supply chain management.