Bitcoin: A Timeline For 2024

A number of key developments at the beginning of the year could push crypto to mainstream global attention.

What does the year ahead hold?

2023 has been a big year for Bitcoin, as institutional interest drove a turnaround in the market and optimism increased. As the new year rolls around, what are some of the milestones we can expect for the coming 12 months?

ETF Approval

The current expectation—by both experienced analysts and apparently the market as a whole—is that spot Bitcoin ETFs will be approved by the SEC's final deadline, early in January, most likely between January 5 and 10.

ETF Trading Begins

It's unclear how long it will take following approval for spot BTC ETFs to be launched and investors able to access them. Experts say that the nature of the process mean it could be at least a few weeks, meaning that it will be into February or possible March, before investors can access them.

That window would doubtless see incredible volatility, as traders sought to front-run the influx of new funds from TradFi.

Rate Cuts

So let's say it's more like two months from approval to launch, which seems to be a realistic estimate. It could be the beginning of March before investors can buy and sell the new ETFs.

Also happening in March? There are no guarantees, but that's when traders are currently betting the first interest rate cuts could happen.

While the CME FedWatch Tool gives an 18% chance of a quarter-point cut for January, that rises to 69% for March.

The consensus for the end of 2024 is 375-400 bps, a 1.5% decrease from current rates. That's well and truly risk on.

The Halving

If approval in January and launch in February/March wasn't enough, we also have the bullish catalyst of the Halving in April. The exact date and time can't be known at this point, because it depends on hashrate and Difficulty adjustments between now and then. NiceHash estimates April 10.

On or around this date, Bitcoin mining rewards will be cut to 3.125 BTC per block. The reduction will decrease Bitcoin's inflation rate to below 1%, making it the hardest money on the planet.

2024 H2

That's just the first half of the year. Assuming all goes according to schedule, that will only be laying the foundations for what's to come.

In the second part of 2024, we can expect to see significant developments in the crypto space, as institutions and nation states jump aboard, and blockchain infrastructure and products become integrated with mainstream finance.

Too vague? Here are a few more specific forecasts, based on the trends we've seen in 2023:

  • L2 platforms will continue to thrive. New corporate L2s will be launched, following the example set by Coinbase, OKX, and Consensys.
  • IFAs will cautiously start to recommend BTC exposure, based on its availability and their need to stay relevant (more details in another blog).
  • Mainstream media and financial institutions representing the "Legacy" position of skepticism (think FT, JP Morgan) will start to come around, realizing they're on the wrong side of the herd.
  • TL;DR? By the end of 2024, Bitcoin will no longer be a novel technology or niche financial asset, as it was at the beginning of this year.

2024 is going to be an interesting year for crypto, without doubt.

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