Investment management firm VanEck has released an extensive cryptocurrency outlook containing 15 major predictions for 2024.
Spanning market dynamics like Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the Ethereum merge aftermath, regulation, gaming, and more, the analysis paints a vivid picture of what may be in store for the growing digital asset ecosystem.
The Debut of Spot Bitcoin ETFs
VanEck’s report anticipates the arrival of a long-awaited U.S. recession in the first half of 2024. Citing indicators such as slowing economic momentum, struggling retail shares, and an inverted yield curve, the report suggests vulnerabilities in the economy.
Interestingly, it foresees the debut of spot Bitcoin ETFs as a response to economic concerns. VanEck estimates over $2.4 billion will flow into these ETFs in Q1 2024, preventing Bitcoin from falling below $30,000.
Fourth Bitcoin Halving
VanEck forecasts the fourth Bitcoin halving in April 2024 to proceed smoothly without major disruptions. As the new coin issuance is halved, unprofitable miners are expected to exit, leading to increased market share for low-cost miners.
The report predicts a brief consolidation period post-halving, with Bitcoin surpassing $48,000 and certain miners potentially experiencing a 10x increase in value by year-end.
Bitcoin’s All-Time High
The report projects a significant climb for Bitcoin in the second half of 2024, reaching an all-time high in Q4. VanEck associates this surge with heightened global election activities, expecting the Bitcoin price to peak on November 9th.
The report intriguingly suggests that if Bitcoin hits $100,000 by December, there might be a chance for Satoshi Nakamoto to be named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
Read more: SEC Nears Bitcoin ETF Approvals: Report
Ethereum’s Market Position Behind Bitcoin
Contrary to speculations about Ethereum flipping Bitcoin, VanEck’s report dismisses such expectations. The report predicts that Ethereum will outperform mega-cap tech stocks but will not achieve a “flippening” with Bitcoin.
Dominance of ETH Layer 2s
Ethereum’s implementation of EIP-4844 is expected to enhance scalability and reduce transaction fees for layer 2 chains. The report envisions consolidation among Ethereum layer 2 solutions, with 2-3 dominant players surpassing Ethereum’s DEX volume by Q4 2024.
NFT Activity To Peak
VanEck anticipates a resurgence in NFT activity, approaching all-time highs. Speculators are expected to return to crypto, focusing on top NFT collections, improved crypto games, and new Bitcoin-based offerings.
Binance To Lose Top Position in Spot Trading
Following Binance’s $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators, VanEck foresees a loss of Binance’s top position in centralized exchange spot trading.
Competitors like OKX, Bybit, Coinbase, and Bitget are predicted to emerge as strong contenders.
Stablecoin Market Cap To Hit Record High
VanEck predicts the stablecoin market cap to exceed $200 billion, driven by the launch of MiCA-regulated stablecoins in Europe and the proliferation of yield-bearing stablecoins. Controversially, the report suggests USDC flipping USDT in market share, propelled by institutional adoption and potential regulatory actions against Tether.
DEXs to Attain Record Spot Trading Market Share
Bitcoin Yield Opportunities
The report envisions remittances emerging as a significant blockchain use case, fueled by easier off-ramping and spending of stablecoins. The concept of “Bitcoin Staking” is introduced, suggesting a narrative shift in 2024 as Bitcoin holders explore staking opportunities on the Lightning network.
Emergence of a Leading Blockchain Game
VanEck anticipates a breakthrough in blockchain gaming, with at least one title surpassing 1 million+ daily active users. IMX, supported by games like Illuvium and Guild of Guardians, is identified as a potential top performer.
Solana to Outperform Ethereum
Solana is predicted to become one of the top 3 blockchains by market cap, Total Value Locked (TVL), and active users. The report suggests Solana joining the spot ETF race and potentially overtaking Chainlink in Total Value Secured (“TVS”). Key innovations.
Adoption of DePin Networks
VanEck identifies decentralized physical infrastructure (DePin) networks, such as Hivemapper and Helium, experiencing meaningful adoption. Hivemapper’s decentralized mapping protocol, incentivized by its native token $HONEY, is projected to map over 10 million unique kilometers.
Corporate Crypto Holdings To Boost
Coinbase is anticipated to be the first publicly traded company reporting Layer 2 blockchain revenues, surpassing $100 million in annualized revenues. The report suggests that new FASB guidelines allowing corporations to book mark-to-market gains on crypto will rejuvenate the case for corporate crypto holdings.
DeFi and KYC
VanEck predicts KYC-enabled and walled garden apps gaining traction in DeFi, potentially surpassing non-KYC applications in user base and fees. Uniswap is expected to lead in enabling KYC functionality, attracting institutional liquidity, and driving token appreciation.
As with any forecast, the actual outcomes will depend on a multitude of factors, and there is no guarantee that these forecasts can end up being a reality.