Daily Market Analysis and News From NordFX

CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Will Bitcoin ETFs Replace Binance?

By the end of Friday, December 8, the leading cryptocurrency, bitcoin, reached a height of $44,694. It last traded above $40,000 in April 2022. Just two days later, on the morning of December 11, surprised investors found bitcoin at the $40,145 mark, leading to immense disappointment.

The rapid price decline lasted no more than 5 minutes. Several theories explain this event. One theory is that the trigger was the strong U.S. labour market data released on December 8. Another possibility is that it was either a nervous reaction or a technical error in trade volume, possibly made by a trading bot or a trader, leading to a cascade of protective stop executions in the futures market. According to Coinglass, over 24 hours, more than $400 million in long positions were liquidated, including $85.5 million in bitcoin.

Our analysis suggests that the most realistic explanation is as follows: since mid-August, bitcoin had grown by about 85% and more than 160% since the beginning of the year. It appears that some major players, in anticipation of the year's end, decided to lock in profits. Notably, two days before this incident, DecenTrader's head, known as FibFilb, had warned: "We have grown significantly this year, and a correction is expected. [...] It has been long overdue," he stated on December 9.

The negative sentiment may have been amplified by news that a $4.3 billion fine had not resolved the issues the crypto exchange Binance is facing. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to press charges against the exchange for illegal trading of securities and other violations.

U.S. Department of Justice officials intend to thoroughly scrutinize the trading platform's operations to determine compliance with legislative standards. The exchange will be compelled to grant continuous access to all its documents and records, including information related to the company's employees, agents, intermediaries, consultants, partners, and contractors, as well as traders, to representatives of the Department of Justice, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and all other financial regulators and law enforcement agencies.

Last week, former SEC head John Reed Stark published an opinion on the potential demise of Binance, referencing the U.S. government's official demands to the platform. The list of these demands alone spanned 13 pages of typescript, including procedures that have never before been applied to companies. This led Stark to sardonically refer to the situation as a "financial colonoscopy."

It is noteworthy that attacks on Binance in 2023 led to a decline in its share of the spot market from 55% to 32%. In the derivatives market, its share is 47.7%, marking the worst performance since October 2020.

Discussing the intensification of regulatory pressure, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon stated that if he were the U.S. government, he would "damn well ban all digital currencies for aiding fraudsters and terrorists." Yet, the U.S. authorities haven't taken such measures. Why?

There's a famous saying attributed to the Italian thinker, politician, and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli: "If you can't beat the crowd, lead it." He voiced it about 500 years ago, but it remains relevant today. For instance, despite all prohibitions, the Chinese continue to be a significant and active part of the crypto industry. The U.S. seems to have considered that instead of banning digital assets, cutting off the internet, and confiscating computers and smartphones, it's easier to lead and control this process. Hence, experts believe, the idea of exchange-traded spot bitcoin ETFs was born. Such funds will allow for monitoring crypto investors, studying their transactions, and not only collecting taxes from them but also determining the legality of these transactions. Therefore, the logic of the officials here is quite clear. And in this rare case, millions of small investors also applaud this process, hoping that their investments will significantly increase thanks to BTC-ETFs and regulatory pressure.

Returning to the events of December 11, trader, analyst, and founder of the venture company Eight, Michael Van De Poppe, urged the community "not to worry." He explained that corrections happen, especially deep ones in the illiquid altcoin market. In light of what occurred, the analyst made his forecast for the change in bitcoin's price. According to his analysis, the key support zone on higher time frames is currently in the $36,500-38,000 range. "Bitcoin's momentum is gradually coming to an end, and Ethereum will easily take the lead in the next quarter," he added.

Crypto expert William Clemente is also unworried about the decrease in bitcoin's price, deeming it inevitable. In his view, such a correction serves as a solid foundation for the start of the next bullish trend, as it eliminates long positions opened by greedy traders using leverage.

Eli Taranto, Director at EQI Bank, agrees with Van De Poppe's prediction and also foresees a decline in bitcoin's value. "As traders lock in profits and await decisions on ETF applications, bitcoin's price will continue to fluctuate, subject to the butterfly effect [a phenomenon where a small change in a system can have large and unpredictable consequences, even in a completely different location]. A drop in BTC price to $39,000 is clearly possible," noted Taranto.

Indeed, the Director of EQI Bank is correct: bitcoin did continue to "fluctuate in the wind," as evident from the BTC/USD chart before and after the last week's Fed meeting in the U.S. As a result, aided by a weakening dollar, the pair moved upwards again, reaching a high of $43,440 on Wednesday, December 13.

As of writing this review, on the evening of December 15, it is trading around $42,200. The total market capitalization of the crypto market stands at $1.61 trillion, down from $1.64 trillion a week ago. The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has dropped from 72 to 70 points and remains in the Greed zone.

Regarding the near future of digital gold, investment banking giant Goldman Sachs' experts recently published a new report suggesting that bitcoin's quotations could continue to rise in the near term. CryptoQuant analysts have entertained the possibility of bitcoin breaking the $50,000 level at the start of 2024. This forecast is based on an analysis of BTC holder activity and also takes into account the dynamics of transaction volume, market capitalization, and Metcalfe's Law in the context of cryptocurrencies. "Bitcoin could be targeting the $50,000-$53,000 range," the experts noted.

However, CryptoQuant believes that the market is currently approaching an "overheated bullish phase," which historically is accompanied by pauses and corrections. The analysts emphasized that the volume of "in the money" coin supply exceeds 88%. This indicates potential selling pressure and, therefore, probable short-term corrections. According to their observations, such high levels of unrealized profit "historically coincided with local peaks."

To conclude, let's reflect on another historic event – a time when digital gold was trading at $0.20. Thirteen years ago, on December 12, 2010, the creator of the first cryptocurrency, known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published his last post on a forum before disappearing from the public eye. The message did not hint at the departure of this enigmatic figure. It contained a description of an update and code for Denial-of-Service (DoS) management elements. Some experts believe that the blockchain founder had planned to leave the team due to disputes and disagreements within the developer collective and criticism for excessive control over the project and unilateral decision-making.

Regardless, as one user on the BitcoinTalk forum noted while recalling the last post of the cryptocurrency's creator, "Satoshi's contribution to decentralization and his fight against financial dictatorship is more than just a technological marvel. It's a movement for economic freedom and sovereignty. [...] His disappearance is not just an act of self-preservation but also a reminder that not everything in life revolves around personal fame."

NordFX Analytical Group

Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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CryptoNews of the Week

– The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States is expected to approve the first spot bitcoin ETFs around January 8-10. This opinion was expressed by Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart. In his view, the SEC has been strategically delaying applications for the instrument to approve most of them simultaneously, thereby not giving an advantage to any single issuer. This is why Seyffart is confident in the mass approval of requests in January. An additional argument in favour of approving bitcoin ETFs is Grayscale's court victory against the SEC in August. Seyffart stated that the Commission has been "cornered by the judges."

– The CEO of investment firm VanEck, Jan Van Eck, believes that the first cryptocurrency holds an advantage over other digital assets in its role as a store of value. In an interview with CNBC, he stated that bitcoin possesses unique properties that make it unmatched in the realm of internet finance and has already become a viable alternative to gold. Van Eck also dismissed the idea that bitcoin is a "bubble," arguing that an asset consistently surpassing its previous highs on each new upward trend cannot be considered "inflated."
According to the businessman, the coin is expected to reach a new all-time high within the next 12 months. Regarding the bitcoin ETFs for which 13 companies, including VanEck, have applied, he, like James Seyffart, speculated that the SEC will approve all ETFs simultaneously.

– Legendary trader and analyst Peter Brandt has identified a "rising wedge" technical pattern on the Ethereum price chart, traditionally seen as a precursor to a bearish trend reversal. According to this model, Brandt suggested that the price of the largest altcoin might decrease to $1,000 and possibly further to $650. He also revealed that he took a short position on this asset on December 15. Despite his forecast, Brandt stressed that price chart patterns are not infallible and may not always behave as predicted in theory.
Brandt previously expressed his view that Ethereum cannot rival Bitcoin as a store of value, questioning the rationale of holding ETH over BTC. He predicts that within ten years, the altcoin will no longer be traded on exchanges, citing the high transaction fees associated with ETH as a significant drawback.
(Background note: Brandt brings over four decades of experience in financial markets and is the creator of Factor Trading, a platform offering expert reports and asset price chart analysis.).

– Michael Saylor, founder of MicroStrategy, has described the leading cryptocurrency as an asset capable of transforming investment strategies globally. He believes that "bitcoin will either fall to zero or soar to $1 million." If the first cryptocurrency continues to gain the trust of financial institutions, its price is likely to rise rapidly. Saylor highlighted bitcoin's unique advantages as a digital asset: its decentralized nature, limited supply of 21 million coins, and increasing adoption worldwide.
Saylor acknowledged that his "zero or million" forecast underscores the volatility inherent in the cryptocurrency market. He noted that most institutions currently underestimate bitcoin. If it is on the path to becoming a primary asset in institutional portfolios, the current level of investment in bitcoin is insufficient. However, an increasing number of institutions are beginning to shift their investment strategies, aiming to increase their bitcoin holdings in anticipation of long-term growth.

– Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream and one of the early developers of bitcoin, compared the last few years to a biblical plague epidemic. He mentioned COVID-19, the quantitative easing of monetary policy by central banks, wars affecting the cost of electricity, and inflation leading to bankruptcies among individuals and companies.
Back observed that as 2023 comes to an end, the impacts of many of these events have subsided. "The bankruptcies of companies related to Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, BlockFi, and FTX... all of that is largely over. I don’t think we're in for many more big surprises," he stated. Back anticipates that 2024 will be a year of recovery for bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency is expected to react to the upcoming halving in April, potentially reaching a price of $100,000 even before the event.

– The shocking payment of a $4.3 billion fine imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice on the major cryptocurrency exchange Binance last month was not the end of its troubles. Two more cases have been opened against the platform.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of the U.S. accused Changpeng Zhao (commonly known as CZ) and Binance itself of illegal operations in the country. In this proceeding, the exchange agreed to pay another substantial fine of $2.7 billion, while former CEO CZ personally will have to pay $150 million. As a result, Binance has already been penalized by American authorities to the staggering amount of $7 billion. However, there's still a conflict to be resolved with the SEC, and it's unlikely that the amounts involved in this case will be smaller than those with the CFTC and the Department of Justice.

– In early December, Binance conducted a survey involving users from the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. U.S. citizens were understandably not surveyed. The survey found that 45% of the exchange's users consider cryptocurrencies a means of earning additional income. Over a third of the respondents (36%) engage in cryptocurrency transactions weekly. Of these, 58% use cryptocurrencies for online purchases, 12% for international transactions and money transfers, and another 12% pay for in-store purchases with cryptocurrencies. 59% of the respondents have been involved in cryptocurrencies for 1 to 5 years, 14% have been in the market for over five years, and only 12% have been dealing with crypto assets for less than six months.
Survey participants also shared the positive impact of cryptocurrencies on their lives. A majority of them – 76% – are confident that cryptocurrencies can provide financial equality in society.

– Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, has warned that deepfakes pose a serious and real threat to the crypto community. He cited an example of a YouTube video created using artificial intelligence, where a pseudo-Hoskinson discusses an upcoming giveaway in ADA. The AI skilfully replicates the real Hoskinson's intonations and speech manner, giving the impression of a live broadcast.
Cybersecurity experts say that deepfake technology has advanced to the point where it can be used online, allowing fraudsters to mimic someone's voice, image, and movements during a conversation or virtual meeting. They point out that this technology is widely available, relatively easy to use, and continually improving.
For reference: ADA is the native cryptocurrency of Cardano, named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century English mathematician recognized as one of the first computer programmers. She is particularly known for her work in 1842 on a computational machine.

– Chainalysis analysts have identified at least 1,013 addresses involved in targeted phishing scams. Phishing is a type of fraud where criminals send emails or SMS messages asking the recipient to click on a link or log into their account. Perpetrators often impersonate representatives of exchanges or digital wallets. In 2022, victims of phishing lost approximately $517 million, while in 2023, thefts totalling around $375 million have been recorded so far. The record for a single phishing incident is a theft of $44 million.

Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.

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Forecast: What to Expect from the Euro and Dollar in 2024

Traditionally, we publish currency forecasts from leading global financial institutions at the turn of the outgoing and incoming years. Having maintained this practice for several years, it enables us to not only peer into the future but also to reflect on past predictions by experts and evaluate their accuracy.

2022: The Beginning

Just as the world had adapted to living under coronavirus-induced quarantine conditions, war entered the planet's life. Russia's armed invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the ensuing anti-Russian sanctions exacerbated economic problems and spurred inflation growth in many countries, even those far from this region.

The proximity of EU countries to the conflict zone, their strong dependence on Russian natural energy resources, the nuclear threat, and the risks of the conflict spreading to their territories dealt a serious blow to the Eurozone economy. In such circumstances, the European Central Bank (ECB) had to act with utmost caution to avoid a complete collapse. The United States found itself in a significantly more advantageous position, which allowed the Federal Reserve, aiming to reduce inflationary pressure, to begin a cycle of interest rate hikes on March 16. This acted as a catalyst for the strengthening of the dollar, and on July 14, EUR/USD fell below the parity line of 1.0000 for the first time in 20 years, reaching a low of 0.9535 on September 28. In mid-July, the European Central Bank also began to gradually increase the euro rate. As a result, EUR/USD entered the new year, 2023, at a level of 1.0700.

2023: Whose Forecasts Proved More Accurate

The coronavirus pandemic began to subside, and on May 5, the WHO declared that COVID-19 was no longer a global emergency. Gradually, various countries started to relax quarantine restrictions. The military actions in Ukraine turned into a prolonged conflict. The fight against inflation slowly started showing signs of success, and the economy managed to adapt to rising interest rates and high energy prices. A global catastrophe was averted, and voices predicting a soft landing, especially for the U.S. economy and possibly the Eurozone, grew louder.

In 2022, the maximum range of fluctuations for EUR/USD exceeded 1,700 points, but in 2023, this figure was halved to 828 points. The pair reached its peak on July 18, climbing to 1.1275. It found its bottom at 1.0447 on October 3 and is ending December in the 1.0900-1.1000 range (as of the writing of this review), not far from the January values.

So, what forecasts did experts give for 2023? The furthest from reality was the forecast by Internationale Nederlanden Groep. ING was confident that all the pressure factors of 2022 would persist into 2023. High energy prices would continue to heavily burden the European economy. Additional pressure would come if the U.S. Federal Reserve halted its printing press before the ECB. According to analysts from this major Dutch banking group, a rate of 0.9500 euros per dollar was expected in Q1 2023, which could then rise, reaching parity at 1.0000 in Q4.

The Agency for Economic Forecasting's experts were accurate regarding the EUR/USD dynamics in Q1: they predicted a rise to 1.1160 (in reality, it rose to 1.1033). However, they expected the pair to then undergo a steady decline, reaching 1.0050 by the end of Q3 and finishing the year at 0.9790. Here, they were significantly mistaken.

But it wasn't just the bears who were wrong; the bulls on the euro/dollar pair also erred. For example, the French financial conglomerate Societe Generale voted for a weakening dollar and a rising pair. However, their forecast of a climb above 1.1500 by the end of Q1 was too radical. Strategists at Deutsche Bank allowed for fluctuations in the 1.0800-1.1500 range. However, in their view, the pair's rise to the upper limit was only possible if the Fed began to ease its monetary policy in the second half of 2023. (We now know that no easing occurred, but the rate was frozen at 5.50% from July onwards).

The most accurate predictions came from Bank of America and the German Commerzbank. According to Bank of America's base scenario, the U.S. dollar was expected to remain strong in early 2023 and then start to gradually weaken, leading the EUR/USD pair to rise to 1.1000 after the Fed's pause. Commerzbank supported this scenario, stating, "Considering the expected change in the Fed's interest rate and assuming that the ECB refrains from lowering interest rates [...], our target price for EUR/USD for 2023 is 1.1000," was the verdict of strategists from this banking conglomerate.

2024: What to Expect in the New Year

What awaits the euro and dollar in the upcoming year of 2024? It's important to note that forecasts vary significantly due to the numerous "surprises" life has presented recently and the many unresolved issues it has left for the future. Questions remain about the geopolitical situation, the direction and pace of the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB), the state of the economy and labour markets, the extent to which inflation and energy prices can be controlled, who will be elected President of the United States in November, the outcomes of Russia's war in Ukraine and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the balance of power in the U.S.-China rivalry. The answers to these and other questions are yet to be discovered. With many factors of uncertainty, experts have not reached a consensus.

Recent dovish remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell and moderately hawkish statements by ECB President Christine Lagarde have led markets to believe that the Fed will lead in easing monetary policy and lowering interest rates in 2024. If the market does not receive a countersignal, the U.S. dollar will remain under pressure. Societe Generale believes the Dollar Index (DXY) could drop from the current 102.50 to below 100, possibly as low as 97 points. A Reuters poll of analysts also indicates that the U.S. dollar should weaken in the coming year. An Investing.com review suggests that EUR/USD could potentially reach 1.1500, subject to various geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions.

According to the base scenario outlined by UBS Wealth Management, a slowdown in U.S. economic growth, falling inflation, and expectations of lower interest rates should support stocks and bonds. Regarding the EUR/USD pair, UBS sees it at a level of 1.1200. German Commerzbank's forecasts also include a peak of 1.1200. Analysts there expect a temporary strengthening of the euro against the dollar before a subsequent weakening. They anticipate the rate will rise to 1.1200 by June 2024, then decrease to 1.0800 by March 2025.

ING economists calculate that in the second half of 2024, the EUR/USD rate will still be rising towards 1.1800. However, they caution that this forecast is based solely on the possible trajectory of Fed and ECB policies. They note, "The rate differential is not the only factor determining the EUR/USD course." Low growth rates in the Eurozone and political uncertainty regarding the reintroduction of the Stability and Growth Pact suggest that EUR/USD will end this year close to 1.0600, with its peak levels in 2024 closer to 1.1500 than to 1.1800.

Fidelity International, JPMorgan, and HSBC economists do not rule out a scenario where other regulators, such as the ECB and the Bank of England, might take the lead in easing ahead of the Fed.

Goldman Sachs strategists believe that while the dollar's prospects may worsen in 2024, the strong and stable U.S. economy will limit the fall of the currency. They write that the dollar is still highly valued, and investors lean towards it, which will remain "strong for a long time," and any decline will be insignificant. The U.S. economy is too strong to cause a rate cut of a full 150 basis points in 2024.

Danske Bank, Westpac, and HSBC also believe that by the end of 2024, the dollar will strengthen against the euro and the British pound. ABN Amro's forecast for the end of next year suggests a rate of 1.0500, and the Agency for Economic Forecasting predicts 1.0230.


The ancient Chinese military treatise "The Thirty-Six Stratagems" states, "He who tries to foresee everything loses vigilance." Indeed, it is impossible to foresee everything. But one thing can be said for sure: the upcoming twelve months, like the previous ones, will be full of unexpected surprises. So, remain vigilant, and fortune will be on your side.

Happy upcoming New Year 2024! It promises to be very interesting.

NordFX Analytical Group

Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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CryptoNews of the Week

– Brian Armstrong, the head of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, published an article filled with numerous statistical data. Following a significant market correction this year, the value of cryptocurrencies increased by 90%, accompanied by a 60% increase in trading volume in the fourth quarter (Q4). Armstrong highlighted that currently, 425 million people worldwide own cryptocurrencies. Additionally, 83% of the G20 member countries and major financial centres have either implemented or are in the process of developing regulations for the industry.
He emphasized that over 100,000 merchants and payment systems worldwide now accept payments in cryptocurrencies, including companies like PayPal and Visa. Armstrong also referenced a report by Circle, according to which the volume of international settlements in stablecoins over the last year exceeded $7 trillion. This indicates that stablecoins are assisting fiat currencies like the US dollar to exist in digital form.
In countries with underdeveloped economies, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Nigeria, cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular among the population. People living and working abroad use cryptocurrencies for money transfers. Crypto transfers are on average 96% cheaper than traditional methods and take 10 minutes instead of 10 days, as mentioned in Armstrong's article. Even major financial hubs, London, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore are transforming into crypto centres to expand employment opportunities in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector.
Brian Armstrong underscored that cryptocurrencies provide people with economic freedom by giving them access to their own money and allowing them to fully participate in the economy, regardless of the limitations of powerful, but outdated, financial companies.

– Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), published a post on X (formerly Twitter) on December 22, addressing the industry's non-compliance with regulations. "There are numerous violations in the cryptocurrency sphere," the post read. "It's a breach of trust resulting in many people being harmed. All they can do is wait for the court to declare them bankrupt."
The community instantly reacted to the SEC head's statement, emphasizing that they had long requested the regulator to clarify the specific rules they need to comply with. It is known that Coinbase, the largest American cryptocurrency exchange, has been striving for years to get clarity from the SEC on industry regulations.
Billy Markus, the founder of Dogecoin, stated that the SEC Chairman had not established real rules. Markus went on to describe Gensler as "useless in every respect." Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, also commented on Gensler's post. He characterized it as "staggering hypocrisy" and called Gensler "politically accountable" for undermining the integrity of the SEC's requirements.
On the same day, the SEC issued a new statement, expressing "deep regret" over some mistakes made by the Commission during enforcement proceedings. Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase, pointed out that the SEC's "regrets" about its mistakes do not negate the fact that its chairman is "intimidating the entire American industry." From a legal standpoint, these regrets hold no significance for any taxpayer or judge.

– Jan van Eck, the head of the eponymous company that also applied to launch a spot BTC-ETF, gave an interview to CNBC. "I cannot imagine any other asset overtaking bitcoin," he stated. Jan van Eck views the first cryptocurrency as the best means of saving and expects BTC to reach a record high in the next 12 months. "Bitcoin has 50 million users. It's an obvious asset that is growing right before our eyes," he declared. The head of VanEck also dismissed the idea that bitcoin is a "bubble." The businessman explained that an asset that consistently surpasses its previous highs in each upward trend simply cannot be considered "inflated."

– Bitcoin will end the year as one of the most profitable assets, largely due to the excitement surrounding applications for bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The leading cryptocurrency, having grown by more than 163%, outperformed traditional assets, only falling behind semiconductor giant Nvidia, whose stocks more than doubled amid the artificial intelligence wave.
Kaiko Research analysts believe that this year's bitcoin price dynamics can be divided into three phases: an early rally from cyclical lows, a mid-year pause, and a year-end rally, indicating the development of a new bull market.
Kaiko points out that bitcoin has long been regarded as a hedge against inflation, a digital alternative to gold, or a completely new asset. However, for most of its history, its price was significantly tied to macroeconomic conditions, the strength of the dollar, and stocks. This year marked a change when bitcoin began losing its correlation with stock indices, including the Nasdaq 100. The most rapid decoupling occurred recently, when the asset surpassed the $40,000 mark, the analysts note.

– According to the forecast of Brandon Zemp, CEO of the consulting firm BlockHash, 2024 will be a favorable year for bitcoin, the launch of cryptocurrency ETFs, and the adoption of regulations for crypto-assets.
Zemp, the author of "The Future Economy: A Crypto Insider’s Guide to the Tech Dismantling Traditional Banking," mentioned the collapse of the FTX exchange, the bankruptcy of crypto lenders, and the downfall of some stablecoins. He believes that the failure of crypto projects was facilitated by investors themselves, who bought colourful JPEG-format NFTs and trusted developers creating useless software.
"The good news is that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and wrongdoers are constantly being pushed out of the market. A bullish trend is again on the horizon, and it may be more stable as bad players have been removed from the scene," the head of BlockHash declared. He expressed hope that in 2024, U.S. legislators will be able to bring regulatory clarity to the crypto market. "I would not like everything to be decided in courts. I am hopeful that next year a cryptocurrency bill will be passed. Otherwise, regulators will continue to sink their teeth into the industry, and cryptocurrencies will continue to resist," added Zemp.

– Analysts at the analytical company IntoTheBlock reported that hodlers hold a record number of bitcoins and Ethereum. IntoTheBlock classifies as hodlers those who have kept digital assets for at least a year. According to their data, as of December 24, hodlers owned 70% of the circulating bitcoins and 74% of Ethereum. The chart suggests that hodlers began accumulating coins as early as 2022. In such a market situation, a supply shock could occur. In this case, an increase in the value of digital assets would be inevitable, even with a constant level of demand.
IntoTheBlock experts also noted that this year Ethereum lags behind bitcoin in terms of price growth. Since January 1, BTC has increased in price by 163%, while ETH has risen only by 90%. Considering the increasing number of Ethereum blockchain users, analysts believe that in 2024, this altcoin will appreciate more than bitcoin.

– Investor and bestselling author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," Robert Kiyosaki, made three key forecasts for 2024. His first prediction is based on the actions of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), which are expected to introduce their own gold-backed cryptocurrency. This, he believes, will lead to the demise of the US dollar. According to Kiyosaki, bitcoin and precious metals may benefit from this, as investors shift their funds into these assets. "The US dollar will die. Trillions of dollars will return home. Inflation will skyrocket. Buy gold, silver. Next year bitcoin will shoot up to $120,000," Kiyosaki declared.
His second forecast suggests that traditional investors, who usually allocate 60% of their funds in bonds and 40% in stocks, will face significant losses in 2024. To safeguard themselves, he recommended reallocating 75% of their portfolio into gold, silver, and bitcoins, and investing the remaining 25% in real estate or oil stocks.
Finally, Kiyosaki's third and last prediction is a stark warning about the severity of the upcoming market crash. Rejecting the idea of a soft landing, he asserts that a crash landing is more likely, which could lead to a full-scale economic depression.

– American venture capitalist Tim Draper has speculated that the value of bitcoin might significantly surpass the $250,000 mark in the upcoming year. He believes the route to widespread adoption of this premier cryptocurrency will be paved through stablecoins. Draper explained his confidence in bitcoin's potential, recalling his belief in the cryptocurrency even when it was valued at $4,000. He attributed the slower-than-expected growth of bitcoin to the apprehensions of a rigid U.S. government, acknowledging his underestimation of the United States' conservative stance.
Draper, an avid supporter of smart contracts, envisions a future where all financial dealings, including investments, payments, salary disbursements, and tax transactions, could be conducted in bitcoin. He anticipates that stablecoins will act as a critical transitional tool, facilitating bitcoin's mass acceptance. "Stablecoins will remain functional as long as the dollar retains its viability. However, as the dollar's influence wanes, I foresee a shift where people will gravitate towards bitcoin," Draper predicted.

Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.
Forecast 2024: Bitcoin Yesterday, Tomorrow, and the Day After

The main question, just a few years ago, was when the crypto bubble would burst. Over time, bitcoin gradually earned its place in the minds and portfolios of traders and investors. Competing actively with physical gold and other investment and defensive assets, digital gold emerged as a formidable contender.

In the past year, the merits and drawbacks of bitcoin have been a topic of frequent discussion, encompassing analysis of its rises and falls and presenting views from seasoned Wall Street experts and pseudonymous social network analysts. It's important to note that many predictions from both groups proved quite accurate, despite the ultra-high volatility of this flagship asset. Today's focus is on recalling the 2023 predictions for bitcoin, their forecasts for 2024 and beyond, with a particular emphasis on those specialists who offered specific figures rather than general, vague phrases.

2023: Those Who Hit the Mark or Came Close

Let's recall that the past year was undoubtedly successful for bitcoin. Despite all its highs and lows, BTC/USD, starting the year at $16,515, reached a peak of $44,694 on December 8, demonstrating a 2.7-fold increase. Among the reasons for the coin's bull rally, experts cite the growing network hash rate, anticipation of the Federal Reserve's policy easing, and, of course, the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the launch of spot bitcoin ETFs and the bitcoin halving in April 2024. It should be noted that all these events began to influence market sentiment only in the second half of 2023. Therefore, the forecasts made in the first half of the year are particularly interesting.

Alistair Milne, IT Director of Altana Digital Currency Fund, made a nearly bullseye prediction by stating, "By the end of 2023, we should see bitcoin at a minimum of $45,000," which he declared already in January.

Mark W. Yusko, the head of Morgan Creek, in February, precisely identified that the next bull market could start as early as the second quarter of 2023, due to favourable macroeconomic conditions. He noted that it was unlikely for the U.S. Federal Reserve to reduce the key interest rate during this period. However, a slowdown or pause in rate adjustments would be seen as a positive sign for risk assets, including cryptocurrencies. Yusko, emphasizing the upcoming halving, pointed out that the digital asset market's recovery usually starts nine months prior to such events, indicating that this rally should have commenced by the end of summer 2023.

Experts at Matrixport, comparing January's BTC quotes with historical data and anticipating a deceleration in the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth, accurately predicted that the flagship cryptocurrency's rate might reach $29,000 by summer and $45,000 by Christmas. This precise hit on the target was made evident by their analysis.

Trader, analyst, and founder of venture company Eight, Michael Van De Poppe, released a video review predicting the coin's rise to $40,000 by year-end, a forecast made at the start of March. Similarly, Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, projected a rise to $40,000, with the caveat that this level would be achieved only when the U.S. Federal Reserve started reducing the key interest rate. Dave the Wave, a trader known for several accurate predictions, voiced the same $40,000 target in May, emphasizing that this was his conservative estimate.

BTC/USD fell below $25,000 in the first half of June, and the market was yet to learn that in just a few days, major financial institutions would start submitting applications to the SEC for entering the cryptocurrency market through spot bitcoin ETFs. Among the contenders for launching these funds were global asset managers like BlackRock, Invesco, Fidelity, and others. At this point, Business Insider took an interest in expert predictions. Let's look at a few opinions gathered from their survey.

Jagdeep Sidhu, President of Syscoin Foundation, believed that despite several crypto storms, the ecosystem's resilience had become evident. The market had recovered from the ashes of FTX, and if inflation in the U.S. decreased, bitcoin could reach $38,000 by year-end, Sidhu stated. David Uhryniak, Director of Ecosystem Development at TRON, along with Benjamin Cowen, was confident that bitcoin would end the year above $35,000.

A consensus forecast from another survey conducted by Finder.com among 29 analysts pointed to a price of $38,488 by year-end, with bitcoin's peak values in 2023 expected to be around $42,000. Naturally, individual expert predictions varied. Overall, most survey participants (59%) were optimistic about BTC, considering summer a good time to enter the market, 34% advised holding existing cryptocurrency, and 7% recommended selling it.

2023: Above or Below the Target

Certainly, not all predictions were as close to the year's outcomes. Another frequently cited target in forecasts was the $50,000 mark, which, according to the analyst known as CryptoYoddha, experts at TradingShot, and former Goldman Sachs top manager and CEO of Real Vision Raoul Pal, BTC/USD was expected to reach. Legendary trader and analyst Peter Brandt, who accurately predicted BTC's 2018 correction, set his sights even higher this time. He believed the coin would reach its previous highs near $68,000 in the second half of 2023, followed by another correction and a new all-time high.

In late January 2023, the analyst under the pseudonym Plan B predicted that the flagship currency would rise to $100,000 by year-end. Moreover, he estimated that bitcoin could test the $42,000 level as early as March, citing the stock-to-flow (S2F) model he developed, which measured the relationship between an asset's available supply and its production rate. However, as we now know, the $42,000 test occurred only nine months later, in December, and $100,000 remained an unattainable height.

Felix Zulauf, founder of Zulauf Asset Management, speculated that bitcoin would enter a clear bull rally around late spring 2023 and did not rule out the possibility of the asset reaching $100,000 on a sharp upward trend. Credible Crypto experts also issued an optimistic forecast, suggesting that the flagship crypto asset had a good chance of renewing its historical maximum in the $69,000 zone. A CNBC survey among influential industry figures revealed expectations of retesting $69,000 by Tether's CTO Paolo Ardoino, while Marshall Beard, the Strategy Director of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, pointed to $100,000. Investor and author of the famous book "Rich Dad Poor Dad," Robert Kiyosaki, named an even larger figure, claiming that by the beginning of 2024, bitcoin would reach $120,000.

The market isn't driven solely by bulls. Roaming its expanse, one can encounter bears and even "crypto-gravediggers." For instance, Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone, in May, anticipated a bitcoin price collapse to a support level of $7,366. This was a stark contrast to his view at the end of the previous year, 2022, when McGlone predicted bitcoin would soar to $100,000.

Strategists from the British multinational financial conglomerate Standard Chartered expected that a liquidity crisis would lead to new bankruptcies of crypto exchanges and companies, resulting in BTC potentially plummeting to $5,000 in 2023. An analyst known as Grinding Poet even declared that "a retest of the 2018 lows is inevitable" and set a new target of $3,150.

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2024: Optimism and Super Optimism

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jamie Coutts has forecasted a rise in bitcoin's price to $50,000 before the halving in April 2024. Eric Balchunas, a senior analyst at Bloomberg, explained that the SEC's approval of BTC-ETF applications would open up bitcoin to a capital market of $30 trillion. Bloomberg anticipates that the approval will occur very soon, around January 8-10. According to predictions by the analytical firm Fundstrat, this could increase daily demand for bitcoin by $100 million. In this scenario, even before the planned halving, the price of BTC could reach up to $180,000.

Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream and one of the earliest developers of BTC, likened the past few years to a biblical plague epidemic. "There was COVID-19, central banks' quantitative easing, wars affecting energy costs, inflation driving people and companies to bankruptcy," he explained. As 2023 came to a close, the effects of many of these events had diminished, according to Back. "The bankruptcies linked to Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, BlockFi, and FTX... all of that is mostly over. I don't think we're in for many big surprises." Back believes 2024 will be a year of recovery for bitcoin, responding to the upcoming halving in April and potentially reaching $100,000 before the event.

Samson Mow, former colleague of Back at Blockstream and now CEO of Jan3, agreed with this assessment. Experts at Seeking Alpha also echoed a similar figure, suggesting that the cryptocurrency should be valued around $98,000 to keep miners afloat post-halving.

Standard Chartered experts, particularly Geoff Kendrick, speak of a similar outlook. According to the bank's economists, the current situation indicates the end of the "crypto winter." However, their forecast is slightly more conservative, with the main cryptocurrency reaching the $100,000 mark only by the end of 2024. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also settled on this round figure. Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger, David Marcus, head of Lightspark, and Vijay Ayyar, a top manager at CoinDCX, also anticipate bitcoin's price rise to $100,000.

Investor and bestselling author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," Robert Kiyosaki, believes that the U.S. economy is on the brink of a serious crisis, and cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, offer investors a safe haven in these turbulent times. Kiyosaki predicts that the halving will be a key event, potentially driving BTC's price to soar to $120,000. Markus Thielen, head of research at the crypto-financial service Matrixport, suggests a similar figure of $125,000. Renowned blogger and analyst Lark Davis believes that this event could lead to bitcoin's price rising to about $150,000, or even up to $180,000. Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat, estimates a rise to $185,000.

According to calculations by Dave the Wave, BTC, post the April 2024 halving, will only rise slightly above its previous high of around $69,000 by mid-2024, but could escalate to $160,000 by year-end. Alistair Milne predicts that by the end of 2024, the BTC rate should reach $150,000-$300,000. However, he cautions, "this may well be the peak opportunity for bulls." Analysts from LookIntoBitcoin advise locking in profits when the coin appreciates to at least $110,000.

And finally, let's consider the fresh perspective of Artificial Intelligence (AI): an increasingly integral voice in such discussions. The experts at Finbold consulted Google Bard, a machine learning system, about the likely value of the flagship cryptocurrency after the much-anticipated 2024 halving. The AI predicted that bitcoin would likely reach a new all-time high, attributing this not only to the halving but also to broader BTC adoption and interest from institutional investors. Google Bard specifically noted that after the halving, bitcoin could surge to $100,000. However, the AI also highlighted factors that could limit the cryptocurrency's growth, not ruling out the possibility of a continued crypto winter in 2024.

In contrast, a scenario from Google Bard’s competitor, ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, appears more optimistic. It suggests that the main cryptocurrency could climb as high as $150,000. (Interestingly, the illustration accompanying this article was also created using AI, in this case, Microsoft Bing)

2024: Moderate Optimism and Moderate Pessimism

Consolidating all the aforementioned scenarios into a consensus forecast, with certain allowances, yields a range from $100,000 to $180,000. While this range is undoubtedly encouraging for investors, there are more conservative and even pessimistic predictions.

Analyst PlanB, having missed his target in 2023, significantly lowered his expectations. "Expect $32,000 for bitcoin before the halving," he writes, "rising to $55,000 during the halving, and then, by the end of the year, the main cryptocurrency might climb to $66,000." Arthur Hayes, former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, also stated that the first cryptocurrency's quotes would reach only a "modest" goal of $70,000.

A sobering perspective comes from the company CryptoVantage, whose employees surveyed 1,000 crypto investors in the USA. Only 23% of them believe that bitcoin will reach its historical maximum of $68,917 in the upcoming year. 47% think that the coin's price will rise to this mark within five years. 78% are confident that BTC will eventually return to its historical maximum, but at an undefined future date. However, 9% believe this will never happen again.

BBC World analyst Glen Goodman joined the chorus of sceptics. He commented that the $120,000 figure "seems more like a number plucked out of thin air than a realistically grounded prediction." Goodman argues that authors of such predictions favor market bulls and overlook several key factors. The most crucial, according to him, is that U.S. financial regulators are relentlessly targeting the crypto industry with lawsuits and investigations. Against this backdrop, experts from JP Morgan believe that in 2024 the main cryptocurrency will trade around $45,000, considering this price as an upper limit indicating the asset's limited potential.

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2025 and Beyond: $1,000,000 to $10,000,000. Who Predicts Higher?

"Looking too far into the future is not far-sighted," a saying attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. While we might heed the advice of the esteemed British leader, some influencers still dare to make long-term predictions without fearing being seen as short-sighted.

An average result from a survey of 29 experts conducted by Finder.com indicates that BTC's price may reach $100,000 not in 2024, but only by the end of 2025, and could ascend to $280,000 by the end of 2030. An analyst known as Trader Tardigrade believes that bitcoin is following the same price structure as it did from 2013 to 2018. If his model is accurate, the beginning price "boom" could lead to bitcoin rising to $400,000 by 2026.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper, a third-generation venture capitalist and co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is optimistic about 2025. He believes that the halving will significantly impact the main cryptocurrency's price, eventually reaching $250,000. Previously, he predicted that BTC would hit this mark by the end of 2022. When his prediction did not materialize, he extended the timeline to mid-2023. Now, Draper has revised his forecast again, stating with certainty that the main cryptocurrency will reach the targeted price by the end of June 2025. According to him, one of the growth drivers will be the adoption of BTC by women, suggesting that housewives using bitcoin for shopping could become a significant factor in the coin's widespread adoption.

Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, believes that the demand for alternative financial instruments will continue to grow, with bitcoin being one of these instruments. He predicts that in the long term, bitcoin's price could reach $500,000. Doubling this estimate, Arthur Hayes, former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, and Max Keiser, a former trader and TV host who is now an advisor to the president of El Salvador, have both cited a figure of $1 million per coin. Michael Saylor, the founder of MicroStrategy, has a more polarized view, stating that "bitcoin will either plummet to zero or skyrocket to $1 million."

Cathy Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, forecasts a significant increase in the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies, reaching $25 trillion by 2030, which is an increase of more than 2100%. ARK Invest's baseline scenario envisages bitcoin's price rising to $650,000 during this period, while a more optimistic scenario projects a climb to $1,500,000. Yassine Elmandjra, an analyst at ARK Invest and a colleague of Wood, acknowledged that such a prediction for the coin's growth may seem improbable, but added that it is "quite reasonable" when considering the history of cryptocurrency development.

Larry Lepard, Managing Partner at the Boston-based investment company Equity Management Associates, has also provided a long-term forecast. He believes that over the next decade, the dollar will devalue, and people will increasingly invest in cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate. Given bitcoin's limited supply, the digital asset will become a highly sought-after investment tool and will benefit from the collapse of fiat currency. "I believe the price of bitcoin will rise sharply. I think it will first reach $100,000, then $1 million, and eventually rise to $10 million per coin. I'm confident that my grandchildren will be shocked at how wealthy people who own just one bitcoin will become," Lepard stated.

The Artificial Intelligence ChatGPT offers a slightly more modest scenario. It suggests that the main cryptocurrency might rise to $500,000 by 2028, reach $1 million by 2032, and escalate to $5 million by 2050. However, this AI prediction comes with several conditions. Such growth is possible only if: cryptocurrency is widely adopted; bitcoin becomes a popular means for capital saving; and the coin is integrated into various financial systems. If these conditions are not met, then, according to AI calculations, by 2050, the value of the coin could range from $20,000 to $500,000.

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Funeral Squad for Bitcoin: $0.0000. Who Predicts Lower?

According to Newton's Third Law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Although this law was formulated in 1689, it seems to apply even to 21st-century cryptocurrencies. If there are those eager to drive up the value of bitcoin, there will inevitably be others prepared to bury it deeper.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire and stock market legend, famously described bitcoin as "rat poison squared." His steadfast partner, Charles Munger, Vice Chairman of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, is equally critical. Despite turning 100 years old on January 1, 2024 (congratulations to him), he continues to actively oppose this digital "evil."

Munger has called on the U.S. authorities to destroy bitcoin, equating investment in it to gambling. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he stated that the cryptocurrency industry undermines the stability of the global financial sector and argued that BTC cannot be considered an asset class as it holds no intrinsic value. He believes that it should be subject to such stringent regulatory measures that would ultimately suffocate the industry. "It's the dumbest investment I've ever seen," the renowned investor exclaimed. "I'm not proud of my country for allowing this nonsense. It's laughable that someone buys it. It's not good. It's insane. It's only harmful." The billionaire labelled everyone who disagrees with him as idiots and branded bitcoin a "spoiled product" and a "venereal disease."

Steve Hanke, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University, has also criticized bitcoin, asserting that the fundamental value of the first cryptocurrency is zero. He has labelled BTC as an extremely speculative asset with no economic value or utility.

Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital and a gold enthusiast, believes that "there is nothing more inferior than cryptocurrencies" and that "bitcoin is nothing." He has compared holders of the asset to a cult. "Nobody needs bitcoin. People buy it only after being persuaded by others. Once they acquire [BTC], they immediately try to draw others into it. It's like a cult," Schiff wrote. Back in 2017, he predicted that the coin would soon become worthless. Despite the years that have passed, the entrepreneur has not changed his stance. He recently reiterated that "bitcoin's journey to zero just got a bit delayed. In the end, bitcoin will implode.".

Jamie Dimon, the head of the American banking giant JPMorgan, has also heavily criticized digital gold. During a CNBC broadcast, he expressed skepticism about the supposed 21 million coin limit of bitcoin's issuance. "How do you know? It might reach 21 million, and a picture of Satoshi [Nakamoto] might pop up and laugh at all of you," he speculated about the future.

Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," also focused on the risks. He believes that no one really knows what the major players in the industry are hiding and that there are no guarantees of their honesty with their clients. According to him, any new scandal could cause a sharp decline in bitcoin's value, putting investor assets at risk. Referring to the opinion of Carley Garner, senior commodity strategist & broker at DeCarley Trading, he recommended staying away from virtual currencies.

Discussing the prospects of the flagship cryptocurrency, Dieter Wermuth, economist and partner at Wermuth Asset Management, stated that the economy would be better and simpler without bitcoin. In his view, it makes sense to abandon bitcoin altogether: it could be beneficial for overall prosperity, as investments in cryptocurrency are wasteful and divert funds from overall economic growth. Moreover, bitcoin creates social inequality, facilitates money laundering, tax evasion, and is highly energy-intensive due to mining. Dieter Wermuth even called bitcoin "the main killer of the climate."

Jenny Johnson, CEO of the investment firm Franklin Templeton, which manages assets worth $1.5 trillion, also expressed scepticism about the primary cryptocurrency. She claimed that bitcoin is the biggest distraction from real innovation. The head of Franklin Templeton is convinced that bitcoin can never become a global currency, as the U.S. government will not allow this to happen. "I can tell you that if bitcoin becomes so significant that it threatens the dollar as the reserve currency, the U.S. will limit its use," she stated.

Indeed, Mrs. Johnson's statement did not come out of nowhere. Over the past year, there has been a lot of discussion about regulatory pressure on the crypto industry, legal disputes, and astronomical fines. Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compared the current state of the crypto industry to the wild early 20th century. At that time, the agency undertook stringent measures, which he believes are necessary now to intimidate businessmen and keep the industry in check. John Reed Stark, a former SEC official, echoes Gensler's sentiments. "Cryptocurrency prices are rising for two reasons," he explains, "firstly, due to gaps in regulation and potential market manipulation; secondly, because of the possibility to sell inflated, overvalued cryptocurrency to an even bigger fool."

Such statements are not only made by U.S. authorities but also by many other government representatives worldwide. For instance, the European Central Bank declared in December 2022 that bitcoin had lost its relevance. However, the ECB later revised its assessment, noting that cryptocurrency could still serve as an alternative to fiat currency.


It's noteworthy that since the inception of bitcoin, its demise has been proclaimed 474 times. The death counter of the main cryptocurrency is maintained on the platform 99bitcoins. This information resource tallies what are known as "bitcoin obituaries" – statements from notable individuals, news portals, and other media outlets with significant readership, unequivocally asserting that the asset has depreciated or is about to depreciate. In 2021, there were 47 such "obituaries," in 2022 – 27, and in 2023, BTC was declared "dead" only seven times. This figure is the lowest in the last decade, indicating that bitcoin is not only alive but also continues to thrive, despite the scepticism of its detractors.

To conclude this extensive overview, let's look at some interesting statistics. According to research by DocumentingBTC, an investor who put $100 into real gold exactly 10 years ago would now have only $134 in their account. Investing in Google would have yielded $504, Facebook – $818, Amazon – $830, Netflix – $1,040, and Microsoft – $1,111. Apple investors could have seen their investment grow to $1,208. Tesla claims the third spot on the profitability podium with an increase from $100 to $4,475. NVIDIA shares rank second, growing to $8,599. However, had you invested your $100 in digital gold, bitcoin, you would now have an impressive $25,600! This is why bitcoin is often hailed as the best investment of the decade. The conclusion is yours to draw.

Happy New Year!

NordFX Analytical Group

Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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CryptoNews of the Week

– On Tuesday, January 2, the price of bitcoin rose above $45,860 as investors anticipated a statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs. The last time BTC traded at this level was in April 2022.
Analysts at Matrixport suggest that the primary cryptocurrency could surpass $50,000 in the coming days. The main drivers of the digital gold's price increase will be the potential approval of spot BTC-ETFs, demand from financial institutions, and a shortage of coin supply in the market. "Institutional investors cannot afford to miss another potential rally. Therefore, they must buy immediately," the experts shared their forecast. In their view, regulators might announce the approval of new exchange-traded products "today or tomorrow, ahead of most investors' expectations." This will serve as a powerful factor in the price growth of the leading cryptocurrency.

– Wall Street investment giants BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco, along with Valkyrie and Bitwise, companies specializing in crypto asset operations, have announced in their press releases their readiness to launch spot ETFs on bitcoin. Bitwise and BlackRock, in particular, have formed initial capital for trading operations, amounting to $200 million and $10 million respectively. These companies have disclosed key details of their future trades, including trading chains, partnerships with key brokerage firms, and the commission rates their potential ETF partners will charge clients, pending the green light from the SEC.
Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg ETF analyst, opines that the investment corporations' proposals are largely similar. He anticipates that the competitive battle among BTC-ETF issuers will primarily revolve around fee structures, brand history, and customer preferences.
MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor previously remarked that the approval of BTC-ETF, which the entire crypto industry is eagerly awaiting, could be the most significant event for the American stock market in the last three decades.

– Analysts at the platform Immunefi have calculated that, compared to 2022, when the total stolen funds amounted to $3.9 billion, this year's figures have more than halved – by 54.2%. In total, due to hacks and fraud, the crypto industry suffered losses of $1.8 billion in 2023. Researchers have tallied that $1.69 billion in losses were attributed to 219 hacking attacks, and about $103,000 was lost in 100 cases of fraud. The biggest losses were incurred in November ($343 million), September ($340 million), and July ($320 million).
It's worth noting that the Immunefi project manages a fund of $135 million for payments to "white hat" hackers who find vulnerabilities in decentralized financial platforms (DeFi).

– The new President of Argentina, Javier Milei, has proposed the legalization of digital asset circulation. He assured that once the bill is passed, citizens will be able to own and trade cryptocurrencies regardless of their origin and the actual location of coin storage. This digital currency legalization program is part of the economic reforms proposed by Javier Milei.
According to the new law, crypto assets that Argentine citizens voluntarily report by March 31 will be subject to a 5% tax rate. By November 30, the tax level will be increased to 15%. Subsequently, if the fiscal authorities discover undeclared cryptocurrency assets, the settlement of requirements may be accompanied by the imposition of an increased tax rate and additional penal sanctions.

– While the majority of crypto market participants view the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs as an exclusively positive event for BTC, some experts believe otherwise. Analysts at the platform CryptoQuant think that with the launch of this financial instrument, the main cryptocurrency's price could drop from its current levels to $32,000. CryptoQuant noted that the market is factoring in a 90% probability of these ETFs being approved in early January. This reflects investors' optimism about the instrument but at the same time creates a classic "buy the rumour, sell the news" scenario.
"The likelihood of the ETF approval becoming a catalyst for selling on the news is increasing, as market participants have a large unrealized profit. For short-term bitcoin holders, it's about 30%, which historically precedes a price correction," the company asserts.
Analysts also highlighted the influence of miners' behaviour. Due to the recent rise in BTC's price, they have shifted back to active selling and could significantly impact the dynamics of the main cryptocurrency's price.

– Cathy Wood, the CEO of ARK Invest, also anticipates the possibility of a short-term sell-off. However, she remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of bitcoin. "A sell-off upon the news wouldn't be a surprise. But I believe it will be a very short-term phenomenon," Wood concluded. The head of ARK also noted the significant impact on bitcoin's price that even modest institutional investments can have. Her opinion is based on the scarcity of BTC and the expected inflow of institutional funds into the asset following the approval of ETFs.

– Analysts at the crypto exchange BIT share a similar view. They believe that bitcoin will continue to grow despite the "buy the rumor, sell the news" mindset. Even if the launch of the ETF causes a short-term sell-off, the combination of buyer pressure and the reduction in supply following the halving will lay the foundation for an extremely bullish 2024, potentially leading to the establishment of a new all-time high (ATH).

– Nic Carter, a financing partner at Castle Island Ventures, aligns with Cathy Wood's perspective. He believes that the ETF will unlock new classes of capital, fostering structural flows that will benefit the BTC market. Carter also thinks that in the context of the ETF launch, even the halving event seems less significant.

– Bitcoin futures indicate a bullish trend for the spring of 2024. Data from Binance futures contracts, expiring on March 29th, show that the annualized price of bitcoin is currently exceeding 20%. When futures trade at a higher price than the spot price, this situation is referred to as "contango". This condition suggests that the market expects the price of the asset to rise by the time the contract expires. According to The Block’s Data Dashboard, the difference between the spot price and the future price of BTC has increased to a record high level.

– A special agent from the FBI office in Alabama, USA, informed FOX News journalists that in 2023, around 300 state residents who fell victim to fraudulent cryptocurrency operations lost an average of $170,000 each. Matt Tootle observed that the greatest danger was posed by schemes involving the theft of digital assets using methods of so-called social engineering.
"We see cases where fraudsters spend months developing seemingly decent relationships with their future victims. For example, they create fake internet resources, showing victims the balance of their assets and the profitability of investing in cryptocurrencies. In some cases, to encourage the aggrieved investors to continue funding or make a large money transfer, fraudsters allow the victim to witness the 'effectiveness' of the crypto project and even withdraw a portion of the funds," the special agent explained. As a result, victims realize that they have lost all their money only weeks or months after the initial 'investment'.

– Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital and a gold enthusiast, shared his forecast for 2024 in a series of tweets. "Investors are convinced that the Federal Reserve has managed to restore price stability without causing a recession, achieving a miraculous soft landing," wrote Schiff. "The big surprise in 2024 will be not only that the economy falls into a recession, but also that high inflation returns with doubled force."
"More importantly," Schiff notes, "technical indicators are collapsing... The Fed plans to lower interest rates, which will not only accelerate the downturn but also exert new upward pressure on inflation." In his view, "this not only indicates a weak and troubled economy but also foretells a significant fall in the dollar exchange rate and a rise in prices for imported goods in 2024." According to the financier, this situation does not bode well for bitcoin. Recall that Schiff has previously stated that there is "nothing more low-quality than cryptocurrencies," and "bitcoin is nothing." He also compared asset holders to a cult. "No one needs bitcoin. People buy it only after others convince them to do so. After acquiring [BTC], they immediately try to attract others to it." In his words, "it's like a cult."

Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.

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Top 3 NordFX Traders Earn Nearly $2.5 Million in 2023

NordFX, a brokerage firm, consistently releases statistics that detail the trading performance of its clients and the profits garnered by the company's IB partners. As a tradition, we compile a summary of the past year's outcomes at the beginning of January.

Throughout 2023, the composition of the top three leaders changed monthly, with traders from various countries and regions occupying places of honour on the podium, sometimes separated by tens of thousands of kilometres. Yet, all trading routes from Southeast, Central, and Western Asia, Africa, and Latin America converged at one point: the accounts of the brokerage firm NordFX.

In total, participants in the top three earned a substantial amount, nearly reaching the $2.5 million mark, with precise earnings of 2,494,466 USD. Notably, this was 1.73 times higher than the 2022 profit of 1,441,457 USD. This increase was partly due to improved trading conditions and services provided to NordFX clients. On average, a trader in the top three in 2023 earned about 69,290 USD per month.

Regarding the trading instruments favoured by the top three, gold (XAU/USD pair) was the clear leader. This aligns with the ancient Greek philosopher Plato's observation over 2000 years ago that like attracts like. The GBP/USD and EUR/USD pairs shared the second spot on the popularity pedestal. The bronze went to the Japanese yen (USD/JPY pair).

The earnings of the top three IB partners of NordFX in 2023 were also impressive, although naturally less than those of the traders. This is expected since the partners do not trade themselves but earn commission for clients they attract. The higher the clients' trading activity, the greater the partner's profit.

Potential earnings for a NordFX IB partner can be explored on the company's website. As for the actual earnings in 2023, the top three members collectively earned 272,607 USD. This means, on average, each partner earned about 7,572 USD per month.

Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.

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