Bitcoin (BTC) impressively confirmed its status as the number one cryptocurrency in 2023, recording a price increase of around 150%. We look back and provide an outlook for 2024.
Anyone who bought Bitcoin (BTC) as a present for Christmas or New Year’s Eve a year ago should be very happy with the crypto year 2023: from around USD 16,800 at the turn of the year, the Bitcoin price curve soared over the last twelve months to levels of around USD 42,500 in the last few days of December. Bitcoin never traded lower than at the end of 2022 in the whole of 2023, so investors were able to realize profits if they wanted to. At the moment, many investors seem to be waiting for Bitcoin to continue its rally.
There are at least two reasons for this: Firstly, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is facing a far-reaching decision. In January 2024, it will once again have to decide whether Bitcoin ETFs should be allowed onto the US market. After the SEC suffered a court defeat in August 2023 with its negative stance on Bitcoin ETFS and decided not to appeal, it is under pressure to act. The majority of observers believe that the SEC has run out of arguments against Bitcoin ETFs and must now – albeit reluctantly – give the green light. If Bitcoin ETFs are placed on exchanges, this should also clear the way for institutional investors such as pension funds to invest in BTC in a regulated environment. This could result in billions of US dollars flowing into Bitcoin and produce further price increases.
The second reason for optimism among Bitcoin investors is the upcoming BTC halving in April. As is the case every four years, the amount of newly generated Bitcoin will be halved by the next halving, meaning that significantly less new BTC will be coming onto the market in future than before. Add to this the fact that just under 19.6 of the maximum 21 million Bitcoin are already in circulation and it becomes clear that Bitcoin is a fairly rare commodity and is therefore also known as “digital gold”, as demonstrated not only by the desire for Bitcoin ETFs. Supply and demand are known to determine the price of an asset class such as BTC and the Bitcoin halving has historically always been the harbinger of delayed gains in the price curve.
Bitcoin NFTs aka ordinals marked a revolution in 2023
The last major technological upgrade in the Bitcoin protocol called Taproot happened in November 2021. Basically, Bitcoin has changed very little from a technological perspective since its birth in 2010 and the protocol has proven to be absolutely stable. It was therefore all the more surprising when, at the beginning of 2023, a clever developer presented a solution for recording NFTs in the Bitcoin blockchain. The first auction with Bitcoin NFTs, also known as ordinals, took place in March 2023 and resulted in a BRC-20 standard.
Bitcoin NFTs are now achieving record sales, as the data from CryptoSlam shows (https://www.cryptoslam.io/). There is considerable criticism of Bitcoin NFTs because their boom has led to higher transaction fees in the BTC network. However, Bitcoin Ordinals are probably unstoppable and have already secured their place in the history of cryptocurrencies. They also show that the further development of Bitcoin is not necessarily dependent on changes to the protocol.
EU takes Bitcoin and co. seriously
For many years, Bitcoin was perceived by the public to be half-baked or an air number. This is changing step by step, and the European Union has created a legal framework for Bitcoin and Co. in 2023 through its MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) legislation. More and more banks are also offering Bitcoin and crypto services in this country and BTC is approaching the mainstream. Ferrari, for example, has recently started accepting payments in Bitcoin and will certainly not be the last well-known company to do so.
Ultimately, such developments are all potentially positive for the price development of Bitcoin. Savings plans based on BTC were a safe bet in 2023 and have all made profits. If you want to make it easy for yourself or your family by investing in Bitcoin, a BTC savings plan could be a good idea. However, you should be careful when you see advertisements for Bitcoin mining as a way to make money. Our model calculation 2023 for Bitcoin mining shows: With German electricity prices, the math doesn’t add up.
Conclusion: Optimism for a good Bitcoin year 2024 is permitted
For many analysts, it is only a matter of time before Bitcoin cracks the USD 100,000 per BTC mark. From this perspective, 2023 was a crypto year in which solid foundations were laid for the further establishment of Bitcoin. Even critics hardly believe that BTC could disappear from the scene. Upcoming decisions on Bitcoin ETFs and the BTC Halving can already be classified as significant in 2024. As a specialist portal for finance and blockchain, we naturally belong to the group that remains optimistic about Bitcoin.