Watcher Guru’s Twitter account posted a recap of the major crypto events in 2023. By all accounts, it was a turbulent but monumentally important year for the crypto space.
A major early victory was a US judge ruling that XRP is not a security. This removed a dark regulatory cloud that had been hovering over Ripple for years. In another big win, the $10 trillion asset manager BlackRock officially filed for a Spot Bitcoin & Ethereum ETF. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink reinforced the company’s crypto commitment by stating that Bitcoin is “digital gold” and “an international asset.”
The year also saw several stunning falls from grace. Sam Bankman-Fried, once the darling of crypto, was found guilty on all charges related to the collapse of FTX. In the wake of advertiser boycotts, Elon Musk memorably told his detractors to “go fu*k yourself.”
On the geopolitical front, Russia decided to transition away from using US dollars and instead settle trade with Asia, Africa and Latin America in Chinese yuan. This was an early sign of the dollar’s waning influence. China also saw the yuan overtake the dollar as the most-used currency in its cross-border transactions for the first time in history.
There were major C-suite shakeups as well. Changpeng Zhao (CZ) unexpectedly resigned from his position as Binance CEO. In the aftermath of its XRP delisting controversy, Coinbase announced it would relist the token.
Some crypto companies saw far worse fates. The CEO of a Turkish crypto exchange was sentenced to over 11,000 years in prison for stealing $2 billion in customer funds. And in the US, the SafeMoon founders were arrested on allegations of orchestrating a massive fraud.
On the regulatory front, there were some positive developments. The SEC dropped its lawsuit against Ripple executives, Grayscale won its lawsuit against the SEC, and Coinbase sued the SEC seeking greater regulatory clarity.
By year’s end, the stage was set for crypto to continue its integration into mainstream finance and society. The UK government unveiled plans to become a global crypto hub. And El Salvador went as far as eliminating all taxes on crypto innovations, property and income.
After the volcanic year that was 2023, the crypto landscape looks vastly different. But according to Fed Chair Powell, cryptocurrency still “appears to have staying power as an asset class.” Only time will tell what’s in store for 2024 and beyond.
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