Happy Birthday, Bitcoin. It has been 15 years since Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first genesis block back in 2009. In the last one-and-a-half decades, the first cryptocurrency has weathered ups and downs, defied critics and nay-sayers – and emerged victorious: It is now ranked as the ninth most valuable asset in the world.
See our graph of the week below for how Bitcoin performed against other assets in 2023.
Note: Market prices captured in USD at the time of sending. Explore more on Crypto.com/Price.
New Year High
Wall Street’s Final Prep
Multiple firms, including BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco, closed out 2023 by submitting final details on their respective Bitcoin ETF offerings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including customer fees, ahead of their expected and possibly imminent approval.
Bitcoin Holdings Boosted
MicroStrategy, one of the largest corporate holders of Bitcoin, boosted its holdings in December 2023, buying 14,620 BTC at an average price of US$42,620 This purchase brings their total to 189,150 BTC.
2024 Ethereum Roadmap
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has shared the Ethereum roadmap for 2024 in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter). This follows a recent blog also by Buterin in which he opined wanting to bring back the original idea of the “cypherpunk” revolution for the blockchain.
Cipher Mining has bought 16,700 new miners ahead of the upcoming Bitcoin halving. The Bitcoin mining company has timed installation of the new Avalon miners near the expected Bitcoin halving date, which is expected in April this year.
Crypto Catalyst Calendar
Chart of the Week
Global asset classes ended the year 2023 mostly up in terms of price action. BTC led significantly with a +154.3% gain, followed by ETH at +91.3%.
Check out more key trends of 2023, followed by our outlook for 2024 in our report: 2023 Year Review & 2024 Year Ahead.
Research & Insights
Monthly Feature Article | Bitcoin: Beyond Store of Value
To extend Bitcoin beyond a digital cash system, discussions on solutions for supporting complex smart contracts without changing Bitcoin’s basic infrastructure are trending.
- Intended as an electronic payment system, Bitcoin was designed with features like Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) and limited script programming.
- These properties make it distinct from Ethereum in terms of flexibility and programmability required to be a Turing-complete smart contract platform.
- Lately, there has been growing discussions to support complex smart contracts without altering Bitcoin’s fundamental infrastructure, in order to expand its potential beyond being just an electronic payment system:
- RGB is a smart contract platform explicitly crafted for Bitcoin and its Layer-2 (L2) solution, the Lightning Network. In RGB, there is no global network where all transactions are broadcast.
- BitVM is a computational framework that introduces Turing-complete off-chain smart contracts to Bitcoin without requiring any soft forks or implementing changes to the consensus rules.
Check out Bitcoin: Beyond Store of Value
After her inaugural Crypto.com NFT drop sold out in under an hour, Noelia Lozano returns to introduce us to ‘Crypto Ethereals’, the unique beings who reside in the fantastical world of Wonderverse.
Dropping on January 15, this collection promises to take you away on a journey like no other. Think playful metaphors and colorful artwork.
Lozano is a renowned artist and art director hailing from Spain. Her passion for highlighting textures, color, light, shadows, and shapes is as clear as day in her ‘Wonderverse’ and ‘Crypto Ethereals’ projects.
Lozano’s extensive client list through the years includes Honda, Kiehl’s, and Nickelodeon.
Don’t miss out on Lozano’s latest drop! There’ll be NFT airdrops 🪂 to reward both past and new collectors, along with enticing giveaways on X.
“Crypto Ethereals’ embody the fantastical, igniting our sense of wonder and inviting us to explore the extraordinary possibilities of the metaverse in the Wonderverse’s magical and surreal worlds.” – Lozano, gushing with enthusiasm.
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Strike Options has introduced Auto Roll, a new feature that allows you to automatically roll on your profitable trades without having to open new positions manually. This way, you can easily maintain profitable positions while keeping your downside risk capped. Simply open a regular Strike Options trade and hit “Auto-Roll” to get started.
Hop Across Chains With Ease on the DeFi Wallet
The DeFi Wallet has launched cross-chain token swaps, allowing you to easily swap and bridge tokens across seven EVM chains in seconds. Cross-chain swaps are powered by Stargate, an omnichain protocol that leverages LayerZero technology. Cross-chain swaps are accessible by simply tapping ‘Trade’ in the navigation bar in the DeFi Wallet app.
Loaded Lions: Mane City World Series: New Year’s Blitz
The New Year’s Blitz will be starting with a US$40,000 prize pool consisting of CRO and NFTs to be distributed among the top 1,000 players. What’s more, 80% of diamond spending during the Blitz will be added to the total prize pool! The New Year’s Blitz will last two weeks, starting on 8 January 2024 and ending on 22 January 2024. Shake off the rust and start preparing right now!
Crypto Level Up
The 2024 Bitcoin Halving
Bitcoin halving refers to the reduction in rewards miners receive when they validate transactions on the Bitcoin network. This happens approximately every four years, or more precisely, after every 210,000 blocks mined.
Read on to learn more about this year’s halving.
Bitcoin Halving Dates Through the Years
November 2012 marked the first Bitcoin halving.
The second happened in July 2016.
May 2020 was the most recent halving.
This year’s halving is expected to take place in April.
The Impact of Bitcoin’s Halving on the Cryptocurrency Market
Bitcoin halvings through the years have impacted BTC’s price. However, it also influences the dynamics of other cryptocurrencies. The heightened attention Bitcoin halving brings results in increased media coverage and public interest, potentially attracting new market participants.
Learn all about this year’s Bitcoin halving.
An icy white landscape meets the Crypto.com Icy White Visa Card. A picture perfect pairing from @ExplorerDavid!
Hashtag #CryptoIRL with your Crypto.com Visa Card on your social profiles to get featured! Your 15 minutes of fame in the #CROFam awaits you!
A permissionless system is one that has no apparent ‘gatekeepers’, meaning there isn’t something or someone able to stop any particular person or thing from using it or limiting access to it.
In the cryptocurrency world, the aspect of permissionless is coveted; permissionless systems do not allow for any one entity to manipulate the way they work. A main reason why Bitcoin came into existence is because Satoshi Nakamoto believed that no single central authority should dictate how things work.
Many permissionless blockchains like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Avalanche use either a Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus. Miners and stakers are incentivized to act honestly and ensure they help the blockchain maintain its long-term health.
Malware Scam Defrauds Singaporean Family of Life Savings
In late November 2023, a family in Singapore lost more than S$150,000 (~US$113,110) to an e-commerce scam which involved a fake internet banking app.
The husband and wife fell prey to the scam after responding to an advertisement on Facebook for organic eggs.
Here’s How to Safeguard Yourself From Malware Scams
1. Only download apps from official app stores, such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. This will help ensure that the apps are legitimate and free from malware.
2. Ensure that your mobile device’s operating system is always up-to-date. If there are ad-hoc software updates for security reasons, install them as soon as possible.
3. Be wary of unsolicited messages. Do not click on unverified links or download attachments from unsolicited messages, especially if they are from strangers or unofficial communication channels from the company.
4. When you’re downloading an app, scrutinize its developer descriptions, ratings, and update frequency. While frequent updates can indicate that the app is being actively maintained and improved, it’s important to investigate further to ensure that the app is legitimate and free from malware.
That’s it for this week’s Snapshot. Want more? Find out what’s trending in the crypto world.