2024: The Year Of Bitcoin – BTC Races Above $60k After ETFs Flood The Mainstream Media

As Bitcoin is racing back above $60k, the crypto industry is celebrating. 2024 will definitely be the year of Bitcoin, following the approval of BTC ETFs, and eventually, the mainstream media acknowledged it. I also want to address the matter because this will probably go down as one of the most significant events in the history of crypto, putting Bitcoin is the spotlight of the world.

Reuters, the popular press agency, reported that the launch of U.S. exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking Bitcoin deepens ties between the volatile world of crypto and the traditional financial system.

A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund is “an investment vehicle that seeks to track the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin ETFs are traded on traditional regulated securities exchanges and are not available on crypto exchanges.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs from issuers, including BlackRock. But it was a really long way for the crypto industry to get here, and below, we’ll explore the past year and the crypto industry’s path to the realms of success.


Crypto Wrap-Up 2023 – A Yearly Review: Top 12 Highlights In Blockchain And The Crypto Space


We waved 2023 goodbye, and we’re now shedding light on the most important events and reports that shaped the year in the crypto space. 

In 2023, the crypto world was marked by massive changes, exciting moves in the market, new AI tech shattering the space, and businesses going bankrupt.

It’s been an exciting rollercoaster for us all, and it’s definitely worth taking a ride down the memory lane to highlight the most important events that shaped the year for the crypto industry.


SEC interviewed Kraken and dropped a hefty fine of $30 million

Back in February, the Securities Exchange Commission interviewed Kraken crypto exchange and dropped a fine of $30 million. The regulatory authority shed light on the importance of compliance in the crypto space. Kraken has been charged for operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency.

“The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, alleges that Kraken violated the registration provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks injunctive relief, conduct-based injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, and penalties,” noted SEC.gov in their press release.

Do Kwon Arrest: Fall of Luna and the stablecoin TerraUSD (UST)

The massive bear market kicked off with the fall of Luna and the stablecoin TerraUSD (UST), which occurred back in 2022, affecting companies including Celsius, Voyager, Three Arrows, and many more.

Luna’s creator, Do Kwon, was the big bad wolf haunted by the Republic of Korea authorities and shortly became one the most wanted crypto fugitive in the history of this industry. His arrest was announced on March 23rd, 2023 when he was using falsified travel documents in Montenegro.

He spent Christmas in a cell there after dodging the authorities from South Korea, Dubai, Singapore, and Interpol.


NFTs made a spectacular entrance in the Bitcoin blockchain

NFTs managed to find their way into Bitcoin’s blockchain. Bitcoin’s recent embrace of NFTs has turned out to be spectacular.

It’s also important to note that Bitcoin’s NFT sales outshined the ones on the Solana network by four times.

More than that, expanding the inscriptions to other networks highlights the enormous value of block space and underlines its highly important role.

Another important issue that is worth noting for 2023 is marked by the BRC-20 tokens. BRC-20 is an experimental token standard that enables minting and transferring of fungible tokens via the Ordinals protocol on the Bitcoin blockchain.


SEC vs Coinbase: Fight!

During 2023, the SEC made efforts to become the most influential entity in the crypto realm, and there have been a lot of moves to support the claim.

The financial authority charged Coinbase for the unregistered sale of securities with the staking-as-a-service program – this basically kicked off the SEC’s hunt for the crypto industry.

The crypto exchange didn’t waste any time and dropped a 40-second clip as their response to the hunter, stating that they often asked for more clear guidelines and regulations for the US crypto market.

Just like in the Kraken case, the SEC definitely dreamed of a shiny victory with a big, fat settlement, but the unexpected happened, and Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, fought back and took the case to court.

This was a notable event of the year, because Armstrong’s stance in this regard is essential for both his company and the whole crypto industry as well.

Crypto enthusiasts are waiting for a flawless victory against the SEC in this crypto Mortal Kombat round.

More fights that the SEC took on include the one against Ripple when the financial authority contested the XRP sales back in July.


Mastercard explores crypto partnerships: Ledger, MetaMask

2023 marked the year in which Mastercard announced the integration of blockchain technology into financial applications.

This was a massive move that managed to highlight one step further towards the mass adoption of the traditional finance space of crypto-based solutions. Since then, the financial giant has also been exploring partnerships with crypto wallets such as Ledger and MetaMask.

“Mastercard is bringing its trusted and transparent approach to the digital assets space through a range of innovative products and solutions – including the Mastercard Multi-Token Network, Crypto Credential, CBDC Partner Program, and new card programs that connect Web2 and Web3,” a Mastercard spokesperson said via email as cited by CoinDesk.


PayPal launched its very own stablecoin

This year, PayPal entered the crypto industry back in August and launched its very own stablecoin, making significant moves towards incorporating digital assets into the traditional financial system.

PayPal USD (PYUSD) launch meant that the financial entity became the very first major US company that launched its own dollar-backed stablecoin.

“PayPal USD is designed to contribute to the opportunity stablecoins offer for payments and is 100% backed by U.S. dollar deposits, short-term U.S Treasuries and similar cash equivalents. PayPal USD is redeemable 1:1 for U.S. dollars and is issued by Paxos Trust Company,” according to the original press release.

PayPal USD is now listed in various exchanges, including Coinbase, Binance, and more.


The Sam Bankman-Fried SAGA unfolding

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been accused of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar fraud in a huge quake that shattered the crypto space to the core, leaving it bleeding.

Since his arrest dating back in December 2022, he has maintained his innocence, while blaming other players in his financial empire.

He threw his lawyers and even his former business partner and girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, under the bus.

Prosecutors have put a mark of the beast on SBT’s forehead, saying that he stole money from FTX’s customers in order to enrich himself and his family.

As you probably know, he bought luxury beachfront property in the Bahamas and also funneled millions into U.S. political campaigns.

According to the same voices, “FTX was built on lies.”

On Nov. 3, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called Bankman-Fried’s crimes “a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto” and one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.


Binance’s CZ steps down as CEO

The month of November brought seismic shakings in the crypto space when the Binance crypto giant settled charges of sanctions violations and money-transmitting breaches – all these were mirrored by a huge mind-blowing $4.3 billion payment.

The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, agreed to a $50 million fine and also stepped down as the company’s CEO.

On the other hand, Bloomberg reported that the fortune of CZ grew by a staggering $25 billion in 2023 which is not bad at all, considering everything that’s happened.

“He may be headed to prison next year after pleading guilty to US criminal charges in November, yet 2023 held a silver lining for former Binance Holdings Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao: His estimated wealth ballooned by almost $25 billion this year,” a recent Bloomberg piece noted.


El Salvador Bitcoin’s investments explode and turn green

El Salvador gained a special place on the world’s map and in the realm of crypto history by becoming the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

El Salvador metaphorically became a bright star in this world’s sky, showing that Bitcoin can save people and offer them financial freedom from the chains of a corrupted system.

Salvadorean President Nayib Bukele managed to shock the world back on June 9, 2021, which remains a date that will shine forever for any Bitcoin maximalist.

Bukele revealed the adoption of Bitcoin as one of the national currencies, and ever since that moment, the state has been purchasing BTC with public funds.

When the bear market kicked in, the Salvadorean President drew a lot of criticism following his moves, which were called irresponsible.

While bad press became the norm, Bukele doubled down and stated that the nation would buy one BTC per day.

As noted by Cointelegraph, the nation dismissed insolvency rumors by paying off investors holding the Eurobond due on January 24, 2023. This was a total of $800 million plus interest.

He roared against the legacy media that was after him, creating a false narrative.

El Salvador’s investment in Bitcoin managed not only to recover its original fiat value, but was also in profits.


Rumors of Mt. Gox repaying users flood the crypto space

Coinmarketcap reported that according to emerging data coming from social media accounts on Telegram and Reddit, there are some creditors who have confirmed receiving payments via PayPal from Mt. Gox.
According to a community post on CMC, “Several Reddit users from the r/mtgoxinsolvency page have shared their experiences of receiving payments. One user, Free-End2543, attached a screenshot of a PayPal notification as proof of payment. Another user noted that they received only a portion of their Bitcoin claim, getting about 30,283 yen (nearly $200), with a remaining balance of about $748 yet to be paid.”

BeInCrypto reported that some customers seemed confused regarding the amounts that they received, part of them saying that they got less compared to what they expected, while others were paid twice in error.

The Mt. Gox Rehabilitation Trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, told the people who received a double payment in error to return the funds.

Back in November, he said that he had received funds from the liquidation of $47 million worth of the bankrupt exchange’s assets.

The online publication mentioned above notes that he extended the repayment deadline from October 31, 2023, to October 31, 2024, with the permission of the Tokyo District Court.

Mt. Gox was a Japanese Bitcoin exchange that collapsed back in 2014, losing about 750,000 customers’ BTC and 100,000 of its own stash of BTC.

The former CEO, Mark Karpeles, has been charged with “embezzlement and aggravated breach of trust.” He was found not guilty on most of the charges.


X (formerly Twitter)’s importance exploded for the crypto industry

The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, began shining brighter than ever following the purchase of the giant by Elon Musk.

The business magnate initiated the acquisition of the American social media company Twitter, Inc. back on April 14, 2022, and he concluded it on October 27, 2022.

The predictive power of this social media platform has been acknowledged, especially for financial markets, and the sentiments created here can definitely be used to predict price returns.

X’s relevance for crypto traders has exploded lately, and the space has managed to become the most fertile space for traders who debate news, ideas, initiatives, and speculation concerning digital assets.

On the other hand, it’s really important to mention the fact that while Musk claims he bought Twitter to promote freedom of speech, lots of users highlight the perpetual existence of censorship that they can still find here.

Regardless, for crypto enthusiasts, X is still a great place to hang out, filled with lots of interesting content creators worth following.


BlackRock Spot Bitcoin ETF – the strongest catalyst for a new bull market

In 2023, what was called the biggest bullish news in the crypto space was launched – the largest asset manager in the world, BlackRock, had filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

The financial giant has a clean record regarding ETF proposals, and virtually 99,9% of them eventually get approved. Investors were wondering not if, but when the spot BTC ETF will get approved.

Besides BlackRock, more important companies including WisdomTree, and Valkyrie were waiting for the green light from the SEC.

Retail and institutional investors who have been hesitant to jump into the crypto wagon due to issues regarding compliance and regulatory impediments were seen as being able to bring enormous waves of new money into the crypto markets, resulting in an increase in demand and the rise of the BTC price.

As expected, back in December, crypto enthusiasts were flooding X with all kinds of juicy predictions about the price of BTC.

“During the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve solicited Blackrock to devise a strategy to navigate the situation. This demonstrates a high level of trust in Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager. Important to know is that the CEO of BlackRock has recently expressed a favorable view of Bitcoin, describing it as a “digital gold” and emphasizing its potential role in portfolio diversification.”

While some believed that the approval of a spot BTC ETF by a firm like BlackRock would definitely attract more massive investors and big institutional players…one issue remains for debate before we start celebrating: we should consider this – do we really want a financial entity such as BlackRock with its powerful AI Alladin and more similar companies to be able to manipulate the price of Bitcoin?

Is this the true meaning of BTC, or was BTC created as an escape route from these exact entities? Probably, the trade comes with a price; it’s up to you to figure it out.

Bitcoin goes further beyond the idea of money and wealth; it’s a metaphor, and it’s up to you to see its true meaning. Just some food for thought while you’re hodling or trading.


Closing words

We waved good-bye to 2023, and even if the year began with a bearish sleep, the crypto assets were able to take a leap of faith, and the crypto space continues to signal new beginnings of a promising bull run.

Regardless of what may happen in the crypto space now, following the much-awaited approval of the BTC ETFs, true Bitcoin believers and crypto traders know exactly what the digital asset space is all about and what blockchain tech and crypto mean for our financial freedom.

Never forget: Bitcoin was built as a revolutionary response and an alternative to the corrupt system during a financial crisis for a financial crisis.

So, stay vigilant and wary of your investments and keep an optimistic sentiment along with hope alive.

Let’s hope that we’ll have a fruitful 2024 in a better world filled with truth and freedom. So far, the crypto markets look explosive, and we might be on our way straight to the moon!

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