End-of-Year Crypto Report: 2023 in Review & 2024 Forecast

December 31, 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant chapter in the cryptocurrency industry, characterized by groundbreaking developments and shifts in market dynamics. In this detailed report, Alvatix focuses on the key events and trends that have defined the crypto landscape over the past year while also casting an eye toward all the opportunities 2024 will bring.

We’ll delve into crucial milestones such as the surge of SocialFi, the innovative tokenization of real-world assets, significant updates to Ethereum, strategic moves by major industry players, and more. These events have not just been points of interest but also corner stones in our successful trading strategies.

Join us on this journey to gain a deeper understanding of the cryptocurrency industry as we transition into a new year. With Alvatix, you're not just observing the changes; you're actively participating in the opportunities they present.

Let's look forward to the year 2024, anticipating continued growth, evolution, and profitability in the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies.

SocialFi's Ascent Amidst Bitcoin's Bull Run

In 2023, the crypto world witnessed the rise of SocialFi - a blend of social media and finance on the blockchain, poised to reshape digital interaction. Here's how it unfolded:

  • Emergence Amidst Potential Bull Market: With a new Bitcoin bull market in sight, SocialFi projects offering decentralized social media solutions gained traction. These platforms leverage blockchain technology to monetize social interactions, creating a new paradigm in digital connectivity.
  • Redefining Monetization in Social Media: Unlike traditional social media models, where users are essentially the product, SocialFi treats users as clients. This approach enables content creators to profit from their influence and allows users to earn rewards for their engagement. Gary Henderson, the creator of a Solana-native SocialFi app, highlighted this shift, emphasizing how SocialFi platforms allow users to support their favorite creators directly.
  • Challenges and Solutions: Key hurdles included user acquisition and retention. The focus shifted towards enhancing user experience (UX) to attract and retain a broader audience.
  • A Case Study of Friend.tech: This project, built on Layer 2 Base Network, initially garnered attention but struggled to maintain strong user engagement.
  • Expert Insights: Arash Ghaemi from DeSo and on-chain analyst Hitesh Malviya emphasized the need for better UX and aggressive marketing strategies, akin to those used by FTX and Brave browser, to attract mainstream users.
  • Predictions of Market Valuation: Malviya forecasts that, with the right approach, SocialFi projects could achieve valuations between $20 and $30 billion.

This blend of social networking and finance represents a new narrative in Web3, attracting users with its promise of decentralized interaction and potential financial benefits. As the concept of SocialFi continues to evolve, it presents an exciting frontier in the crypto world, promising a more equitable and profitable model for social media engagement.

Asset Tokenization: Ethereum's Trailblazing Path

The tokenization of real-world assets on blockchain platforms marked a significant development in the crypto industry. Here are the highlights:

  • Growing Tokenization Trend: The tokenization of real-world assets like funds, real estate, and art into digital tokens using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) surged, with the total value reaching $2 billion.
  • Ethereum's Pivotal Role: Ethereum emerged as the leading blockchain for these tokenizations, hosting the majority of these assets due to its flexible design, extensive ecosystem, and planned upgrades to improve interoperability.
  • Institutional Engagement: Large institutions, including the European Investment Bank, engaged with Ethereum for digital bond issuances.
  • Future Outlook: The advancement of tokenized bank deposits and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) is expected to progress in 2024, enhancing the integration of public blockchain networks with traditional financial infrastructures.
  • Regulatory Landscape: Legal clarity and regulatory frameworks for digital assets are anticipated to improve, with regions like the EU, Singapore, and the UAE advancing faster than the U.S.

These developments indicate a significant shift towards the integration of blockchain technology with traditional asset classes, promising broader market growth and increased investor interest​​​​.

Ethereum’s Shanghai Leap

Ethereum underwent significant upgrades with the Shanghai (Shapella) fork, marking a pivotal moment for the network. Here's a breakdown of its impact:

  • Historic Upgrade: The Shanghai upgrade, Ethereum's largest since the Merge, enabled users to finally unlock staked Ether (ETH) that had been locked up since 2020. This transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) was hailed as a historic milestone, completing Ethereum's multi-year shift to a full PoS network.
  • Technical and Market Implications:
  • Staking Withdrawals: Validators, who had staked ETH since the Beacon Chain's 2020 launch, could now withdraw their stakes and rewards, affecting about 16 million tokens valued at $26 billion.
  • Market Speculation: Analysts were divided on the potential selling pressure from these withdrawals, with varying predictions from major financial institutions.
  • Ethereum’s Scalability Focus: Post-Shanghai, Ethereum aimed to tackle scalability, aiming to reduce transaction costs significantly.

Future Outlook:

  • Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs): The Shapella fork consisted of Shanghai and Capella upgrades, focusing on execution and consensus layers. Key EIPs included EIP-4895 for ETH withdrawals and others aimed at reducing gas fees.
  • Validator Dynamics: The upgrade affected various validator categories differently. Liquid Staking Derivatives (LSDs) like Lido, which make up over 35% of all ETH staked, were expected to see net inflows. Unidentified stakers and American exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken faced different scenarios, with the latter potentially seeing large withdrawals and some selling pressure.
  • Long-Term Growth: Despite potential short-term volatility, experts predicted an increase in the amount of ETH staked post-upgrade, leading to a more secure Ethereum network and a scarcer native asset.

This upgrade signifies a major advancement for Ethereum, potentially reshaping the staking landscape and enhancing the overall robustness and efficiency of the network​​​​​​​​​​.

Tether's Tactical Tango

Tether, the issuer of the largest stablecoin USDT, embarked on a strategic reinvention, reflecting its adaptability and ambition in the dynamic cryptocurrency landscape:

  • Expansion of Financial Reserves: Tether significantly increased its excess reserves to approximately $4 billion, surpassing auditors' estimates and enhancing the stability of USDT.
  • Strategic Investment in Bitcoin Mining: Venturing beyond its primary stablecoin operations, Tether invested substantially in Bitcoin mining initiatives, including a $500 million investment in Northern Data Group, showcasing a commitment to this sector.
  • Support for Innovation and Projects: Tether's involvement extended to supporting various companies and projects, such as Northern Data and Holepunch, aiming to advance decentralized internet development and artificial intelligence infrastructure.
  • Market Impact and Growth: Despite mixed market reactions, Tether's market capitalization surged nearly 38% since January 2023, reaching $91 billion, underlining its growing influence in the crypto space.
  • Transitioning from Certain Blockchain Platforms: Tether announced discontinuation of support for Kusama, Bitcoin Cash SLP, and Omni Layer implementations, focusing on more viable and community-supported blockchain technologies.

This strategic shift signifies Tether's commitment to diversifying its operations and playing an integral role in the broader crypto ecosystem, particularly in Bitcoin-related activities.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ) Steps Down
  • Legal Pressures: CZ faced legal scrutiny from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which accused Binance of operating an illegal exchange and having a sham compliance program​​.
  • Resignation and Settlement: He stepped down from Binance.US's board, transferring his voting shares to a proxy​​, and resigned as CEO amidst a $4.3 billion legal settlement with U.S. authorities over anti-money laundering violations​​​​​​.
  • The Fallout: Binance, under CZ's leadership, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a substantial fine, marking a significant shift in the crypto exchange landscape.

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) Sent to Prison
  • Rise and Fall: Once hailed as a crypto savior, SBF's public persona masked his eventual downfall​​.
  • Guilty Verdict: In November 2023, he was convicted on multiple counts, including fraud and money laundering, which potentially carries a life sentence​​.
  • Impact on the Crypto World: SBF's conviction was a pivotal moment, signaling a break from past controversies and a push for greater accountability in the industry​​.

These events illustrate the ongoing maturation of the crypto industry, as it faces increased regulatory scrutiny and a demand for higher standards of compliance and ethics

Coinbase's Resilient Stand
  • Stock Performance: Coinbase's stock value more than tripled in 2023, a remarkable recovery after the firm navigated through the crypto chaos of previous years. In November alone, the company's market value surged by $12 billion, with shares reaching over $120 each, well above the average analyst price target of about $84​​.
  • Industry Shakeout: Analyst John Todaro from Needham & Co. described 2022 and 2023 as "shakeout years" for the crypto industry. He praised Coinbase for emerging stronger from this period, positioning itself advantageously in the market​​.
  • Impact of Competitor Dynamics: The legal challenges faced by Binance and the conviction of Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX acted as catalysts. These events shifted market focus towards Coinbase, with traders optimistic about its prospects, especially with the potential approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission​​.
  • Positive Market Outlook: Owen Lau, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., noted that the ongoing developments in the industry, including Binance's settlement and continued operations, provided a positive environment for Coinbase. This situation is expected to encourage crypto exchanges to adopt higher compliance standards and better transparency​​.

Coinbase's success story in 2023 underscores its ability to navigate regulatory and market challenges, setting a standard for resilience and growth in the volatile crypto market.

AI in Crypto: The 2023 Frenzy

2023 was a landmark year for AI in the crypto industry, marked by significant advancements and widespread adoption:

  • Enhanced Capabilities: AI's integration into the crypto ecosystem significantly boosted trading algorithms, predictive analytics, and automated customer service. Its machine learning prowess enhanced fraud detection and network optimization, leading to a more efficient and secure crypto world​​.
  • Surging Interest: AI-based crypto tokens, such as Akash Network (AKT) and Render (RNDR), saw a significant surge, highlighting the growing interest in AI within the crypto space​​.
  • Market Impact: The AI market was projected to reach $241.8 billion by the end of 2023, underscoring its rapid growth and increasingly pivotal role in shaping the future of cryptocurrency​​.

Ordinals on Bitcoin: A New Phenomenon

The introduction of Ordinals on Bitcoin created a wave of excitement and disruption:

  • Record-Breaking Trading: Ordinals saw an explosive trading volume of $36 million, with a substantial portion occurring on the OKX exchange, indicating a high level of interest and participation in this new market​​.
  • Network Congestion: The influx of BRC-20 tokens minted via the Ordinals protocol led to network congestion on Bitcoin, pushing transaction fees to unprecedented levels and sparking debate among developers​​.
  • Price Impact: The frenzy around Ordinals contributed to Bitcoin's price volatility, with noticeable effects on its market dynamics​​​​.

Major Market Movements: Year of Optimistic Growth in Crypto

2023 in the cryptocurrency sector was defined by dynamic growth and optimistic advancements.

Key highlights include the resilience and potential of Bitcoin and Ethereum, significant expansion in the DeFi sector, and innovative strides with the introduction of BRC-20 tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Ethereum's continued dominance in TVL and the NFT market's steady performance underscored the sector's robustness.

Overall, the substantial increase in the total market cap reflects a year marked by positive developments, setting a promising trajectory for the future of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Movements in 2023:
  • Recovery from Bear Market: Bitcoin gained over 160% after the bear market, recovering from lows of $16,000 to $24,800 in Q1​​.
  • Influence of Financial Institutions: The crypto-friendly institutions like Silicon Valley Bank and Silvergate Capital faced liquidity issues, impacting Bitcoin's price​​.
  • BlackRock's ETF Filing: BlackRock filed for a Bitcoin ETF in June, spurring optimism in the market​​.
  • Rally Above $40,000: In October, Bitcoin rallied above $40,000, a first since April 2022​​.
  • Volatility and Dominance: Bitcoin's volatility hit an all-time low in August, and its market dominance rose to over 52%​​.
  • Ordinal Inscriptions Impact: The rise of Bitcoin Ordinal inscriptions significantly increased miners' revenue and on-chain activity​​.
  • Bitcoin Mining Stocks Recovery: Mining stocks like Bitfarms, Marathon Digital Holdings, and others outperformed Bitcoin itself​​.

Ethereum (ETH) Price Movements in 2023:
  • Technological Developments: Upgrades like Ethereum 2.0 and DeFi, NFTs have been crucial in driving Ethereum's market response​​.
  • Market Correlations: Ethereum's price is closely tied to Bitcoin's movements and broader cryptocurrency market trends​​.
  • Institutional Investments: Large investments from financial firms significantly influenced Ethereum's value and market demand​​.
  • NFTs and DeFi Impact: The rise of NFTs and DeFi projects on Ethereum's blockchain has led to increased network activity and price fluctuations​​.
  • Macro-Economic Factors: Global economic policies, traditional financial market dynamics, and investor sentiment are key influences on Ethereum's price​​.

Future Outlook:

Bitcoin (BTC):

  • Potential Rally: If positive trends continue, Bitcoin could see a significant rally, similar to the one in 2020​​.
  • Market Anticipation: The market is keenly awaiting developments such as the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF​​.

Ethereum (ETH):

  • Bullish Momentum: Ethereum is currently trading above the 50-day and 200-day SMAs, indicating rising bullish momentum​​.
  • Resistance Levels: Ethereum faces resistance around the $1,906 level, with potential to reach $3,000 if it breaks past $2,000​​.
  • Potential to Surpass $5,000: If market conditions remain favorable, Ethereum might reach or surpass the $5,000 mark​​.
DeFi and TVL Growth
  • DeFi's Expansion: The DeFi sector showed a remarkable 32% year-over-year growth, with the TVL surpassing $50 billion. Liquid Staking protocols particularly saw a whopping 334% increase in TVL, significantly outperforming other DeFi sectors like DEXes​​​​​​​​​​.
NFT Market Value
  • NFT Market's Resilience: The NFT market demonstrated its staying power, with sales in early 2023 touching nearly $1 billion. However, it still lagged behind the $12.6 billion achieved in early 2022, indicating both growth and fluctuation in market interest​​​​​​​​.
BRC-20 Tokens on Bitcoin Blockchain
  • Innovation with BRC-20: The introduction of BRC-20 tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain marked a significant innovation, allowing for the creation and transfer of fungible tokens on Bitcoin. These tokens gained popularity, particularly with the rise of memecoins​​​​​​​​​​.
Ethereum's Dominance in TVL
  • Ethereum's Market Share: Ethereum continued to dominate the Layer-1 blockchain space, capturing a significant percentage of the market share in TVL. Its dominance was evident despite the volatility and changes in the market throughout the year​​​​​​​​.
Total Crypto Market Cap Growth
  • Overall Market Growth: The total crypto market cap saw a significant increase of 60% to 70.7% year-over-year, reaching over $1.4 trillion. This growth was attributed to factors like institutional adoption, the rise of DeFi, and the popularity of NFTs​​​​.

The year 2023 in the crypto industry was marked by significant developments and shifts, reflecting both the resilience and the dynamic nature of the market.

From the fluctuations in Bitcoin and Ethereum's prices to the innovative introduction of BRC-20 tokens, and the continued dominance of Ethereum in the DeFi space, the year was a testament to the evolving and maturing landscape of cryptocurrency.

Scams, Hacks, and Legal Challenges

The cryptocurrency sector in 2023 wasn’t all rainbow and sunshine though. The couple of months leading to the final quarter of this year was painstakingly dull.

So much so that, at one point the top cryptos had a market performance similar to that of a Stablecoin.

This was only worsened by the fact that the industry faced several major controversies and legal issues, further complicating the landscape for investors and stakeholders.

Here is an overview of some of the significant incidents:

  • Widespread Hacks and Scams: The crypto community lost nearly $9.6 billion to scams, rug pulls, and hacks in 2023, according to Molly White’s Web3IsGoingGreat.
  • Binance Smart Chain Exit Scams: A notable exit scam on the Binance Smart Chain involved the $LSC token, where the scammer profited approximately $1.11 million BUSD​​​​​​​​.
  • Huobi Global Hack: Huobi Global's HTX exchange suffered a security breach resulting in a loss of $7.9 million due to a compromised hot wallet. A total of 5000 ETH were stolen in this incident​​​​​​​​.
  • Uniswap Phishing Attack: A phishing scam targeting Uniswap users resulted in the theft of nearly $8 million in Ethereum. The attack involved a fraudulent airdrop and a malicious smart contract​​​​​​​​​​.
  • Ledger Security Breach: A significant hack impacted Ledger, a Paris-based crypto hardware wallet manufacturer. Multiple Ethereum-based applications were compromised, with reports suggesting losses upwards of $150,000 due to this "supply chain attack" on Ledger’s Connect Kit​​​​​​.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s Legal Troubles with Binance: Cristiano Ronaldo faced a $1 billion lawsuit for his role in promoting unregistered securities with Binance, stemming from his campaign promoting the platform's NFT collection​​.
  • SEC Lawsuit Against Kraken Exchange: The SEC charged Kraken for operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency, alleging unlawful facilitation of crypto asset securities trades​​.

These controversies and legal challenges underscore the complexities and risks within the cryptocurrency sector, highlighting the need for enhanced security measures, regulatory compliance, and investor vigilance.

Gazing Forward: Strategic Advancements and Market Maturation

As we look towards 2024, the cryptocurrency landscape is filled with potential and exciting prospects. Here are some of the most notable developments and trends to anticipate:

  1. Bitcoin Bull Rally and Halving Event: The crypto community is abuzz with the possibility of a Bitcoin bull rally, fueled by factors such as the impending Bitcoin halving event and the potential approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs in the US. The halving, expected in April, is particularly significant as it will reduce the mining reward, historically leading to substantial price increases for Bitcoin​​​​​​.
  2. Stable Interest Rates and Economic Environment: The macroeconomic environment is expected to become more favorable for cryptocurrencies. Major central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, might initiate policy rate cuts, shifting from restrictive to neutral levels. This change could enhance the appeal of high-risk, high-reward assets like cryptocurrencies, potentially boosting their prices​​.
  3. Growth of Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs): The trust in centralized crypto players has been shaken by various scandals and bankruptcies, paving the way for the rise of DEXs. These exchanges are becoming more user-friendly and are implementing Layer-2 solutions for better scalability. The introduction of sophisticated trading features, such as derivatives trading, positions DEXs to offer services previously exclusive to centralized exchanges​​.
  4. Regulatory Clarity and Advances: 2024 is set to be a pivotal year for crypto regulations. In the US, a bipartisan bill aims to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, clarifying critical ambiguities in current regulations. Europe is also stepping up with the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, creating a comprehensive legal framework for digital assets​​.
  5. FTX and Celsius Bankruptcy Resolutions: The resolutions of high-profile bankruptcy cases like FTX and Celsius are anticipated. These cases have been driving factors behind a global push for clearer and more comprehensive regulations in the crypto market. The closure of these cases could help restore trust in the sector​​​​.
  6. Advancements in DeFi and NFTs: The decentralized finance (DeFi) sector is set to undergo significant advancements, expanding to include more complex financial services. NFTs are also expected to see deeper integration in various domains like art, music, and gaming, redefining digital asset ownership and authenticity​​.
  7. Interoperability and Sustainability in Blockchain: There's a growing emphasis on interoperability among blockchain networks, facilitating greater collaboration across different ecosystems. Additionally, sustainability is becoming a key focus, with many blockchain projects expected to adopt more energy-efficient consensus mechanisms​​.

In conclusion, 2024 looks to be an exciting and transformative year for the crypto sector.

With potential market rallies, regulatory advancements, and technological innovations, the stage is set for significant growth and broader mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

These developments promise not only to enhance the market's dynamism but also to usher in a new era of stability and maturity for the crypto industry.


As we look ahead to 2024, Alvatix is poised to build on the significant milestones and trends highlighted in our year-end report, further enhancing our strategic position in the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies. After a year of building and refining our products, we are excited to show you what we have accomplished over the coming weeks, which will reflect on our successful navigation through key market developments such as the rise of SocialFi, the burgeoning of asset tokenization, and significant advancements in Ethereum, as covered in our report.

In addition to sharing these insights, we are gearing up to launch our automated trading bots and asset management. This move is aligned with our commitment to provide sophisticated, AI-powered trading solutions. Our platform will further empower our clients by simplifying and enhancing their trading experiences. As we deploy these new services, we invite our friends & community to leverage these cutting-edge tools to refine their trading strategies, making the most of the market's opportunities.

Join us in 2024 as we continue on this exciting journey. At Alvatix, you're not just a participant in cryptocurrency trading; you're at the forefront of a technological revolution in the market. Together, we aim to make 2024 a landmark year filled with growth, innovation, and success in your crypto trading endeavors.

WAGMI and Happy New Year.

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