2024 started on a positive note for crypto and Bitcoin in particular, the long awaited BTC spot ETF has been approved and is currently up and running with a net inflow of over $600m across all 11 ETFs in just day one.
There have also been some hacks already in 2024 with the biggest so far being Orbit Chain's $81 million hack on January 2nd.
In 2023 we saw the Ethereum Shappela upgrade, interest rate hikes (USA), and SEC crackdown on crypto before it all climaxed with the CZ & Binance US Fines.
So in this article, as we kick-off 2024 admits growing positive market sentiments we highlight some key market moving events to look out for.
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There is a growing consensus that 2024 is the year of the bull market, tokens are appreciating in value from Solana, and Arbitrum to Optimism and even BTC and Ether.
But this is crypto and this market is the definition of volatility and unforeseen catastrophe.
Our message at Hashlock is NEVER COMPROMISE ON SECURITY.
If indeed there is a bull market this year, know that bull markets and FOMO go hand in hand. This is where rug pulls and phishing scams thrive.
Projects, protocols and DApp should prioritize security and safety. Get audited and protect your smart contract and infrastructure from malicious actors who are looking for a payday.
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Bitcoin is secured by validators. They compete to validate transaction information on the Bitcoin blockchain and they are rewarded for securing the network with BTC, this process is called mining and these people are called miners, this is how new Bitcoins are created.
Bitcoin ‘halving” is when the reward miners get is reduced by half. That means the number of new BTC created after securing the network is reduced by half.
At the moment the current block reward is 6.25 BTC after the upcoming Bitcoin halving this number will decrease to 3.125 BTC.
This will make more Bitcoin deflationary, and increase the level of scarcity. Bitcoin halving occurs after every 210,000 blocks roughly every 4 years.
The next Bitcoin halving is set to take place this year; data from Coingecko set the date of the next halving around April 22nd,2024.
This is usually seen as a bullish event mostly because there is a reduction in supply and demand might be constant or even increase especially now that over 90% of BTC’s 21 million maximum supply has already been mined further supporting Bitcoin’s feature as a store of value.
Image credit : Forbes
The second largest cryptocurrency is set for an upgrade this year.
In 2022 we saw “the merge”, in 2023 we had the “Shappela upgrade” and in 2024 Ethereum is expected to have the “Dencun upgrade”.
The Dancun upgrade is expected to bring about improvements in terms of scalability, efficiency, and security, making the Ethereum network more robust and capable of handling higher transaction volumes.
The Dancun upgrade will see the implementation of the Ethereum improvement proposal (EIP) 4844 also known as Proto-Danksharding.
In short, Proto-Danksharding introduces data blobs that can be sent and attached to blocks this way rollups add cheaper data to blocks.
After the Dencun upgrade, rollup-based layer-2 chains like Arbitrum One, Optimism, and Base can add cheaper data to blocks on the Ethereum mainnet via blobs.
This upgrade is expected to happen sometime in late Q1 or Q2 2024.
Crypto Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) tracks the price action of one or more digital currencies. ETFs are traded like a standard share on a stock exchange e.g. New York Stock Exchange.
Crypto ETFs enable mainstream retail investors to put their money into a regulatory-compliant asset that represents crypto assets.
This removes the need to physically own or manage crypto, which can get very tricky, especially for inexperienced users, due to the plethora of hacks and scams out there.
Instead, the company issuing and listing it on an exchange bears custody of the underlying digital coin.
Then, investors buy shares to represent their rights in the exchange-traded fund.
Therefore gaining indirect exposure to the volatility of the base cryptocurrency.
In the case of Ethereum ETF the underlying asset is Ether (ETH) the native coin of the Ethereum blockchain.
The recent approval of Bitcoin spot ETF has renewed positive sentiment surrounding expectations of SEC approval of Ethereum spot ETF.
BlackRock, VanEck, ARK 21Shares, Fidelity and Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale and Hashdex are among the spot Ether ETF applicants vying for SEC approval.
The Security and Exchange Commission is expected to start making decisions on ETH spot ETF starting from May 2024 to August 2024.
Image credit : Delphi Digital
When protocols release their native token they do it gradually to avoid dumping by founders and other recipients.
This period in which these tokens are locked up or restricted is known as a vesting period, so at the end of a vesting period, projects unlock tokens and they are released to recipients.
Therefore, token unlock is simply the release of previously locked or restricted tokens into the market meaning the unlocked tokens can now be bought and sold.
Information about a project’s token unlock can be found in a project’s ‘Tokenomics’ or ‘Whitepaper’ which are usually publicly available on the website of a project.
Keeping up with token unlocks is very crucial for crypto traders and investors as this increases the circulating supply of a token. Many therefore see token unlocks as bearish.
This year some of the upcoming major token unlocks include:
The information above are all according to token analytics site TokenUnlocks.
This year it is predicted that the Federal Open Market Committee will hold or even start cutting interest rates as inflation eases, the current interest rate stands at 5.25 - 5.50℅.
The next FOMC meeting will be held on January 30-31 2024.
Keeping up with the FEDs on interest rate decisions gives a broad overview of the economy (US) especially as it is expected that lower interest rates make riskier and higher-yielding assets like crypto more attractive to investors.
Circle, the issuer of stable USDC, is preparing to go public this year via an initial public offering (IPO).
They filed for IPO and are awaiting the completion of the SEC’s review process. After which subject to the market and other conditions the company will go public.
At the moment the number of shares to be offered and price range of the proposed offering are yet to be determined.
At the moment USDC is the second largest stablecoin with a market cap of $25.4 billion behind Tether (USDT)
In the fast-paced world of crypto, keeping up with the latest news and updates can make all the difference.
Remember, Hashlock is here for all your crypto, blockchain and smart contract security needs.
Contact us today!
Author’s Note: This article does not represent financial advice, everything written here is strictly for educational and informational purposes. Please do your own research before investing.]
Author: Godwin Okhaifo