“Winter is over.” Last year started amidst the shock of the collapse of FTX. In the aftermath, the bankruptcy of a major US crypto asset company, the bankruptcy of a US regional bank called a crypto bank, the filing of a lawsuit against Binance and Coinbase by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and at the end of the year, Binance took anti-money laundering measures. The company paid a huge fine to U.S. authorities for violations, and founder and CEO Zhao was forced to leave the company. It seemed like crypto assets and the industry were in a corner.
However, Bitcoin was quietly gaining ground and was looking at the timing of its comeback. After starting 2023 at the $16,000 level, it recovered to just below $25,000 in the first quarter (January-March period), and the following two quarters tested the strength of $30,000. In the fourth quarter, the price has steadily increased and is currently hovering around the $43,000 level. Although this is partly due to the weaker yen, the amount exceeds 6 million yen in Japanese yen.
Could anyone have predicted such a development?
Many have pointed to the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, as a turning point in June. To date, the SEC has rejected numerous applications. But this time, BlackRock was followed by other traditional asset management giants like Fidelity and Franklin Templeton. These moves have led some to believe that the SEC is trying to leave Bitcoin in the hands of traditional finance.
Bitcoin spot ETFs (exchange traded funds) are expected to be approved in the United States in January, and the Bitcoin halving is expected to take place in April. While a huge amount of Wall Street money is flowing into Bitcoin, it’s not hard to imagine what would happen if a halving caused a supply shock.
Is Wall Street trying to swallow Bitcoin and other crypto assets, or are crypto assets infiltrating Wall Street? Opinions may vary depending on position, but there is no doubt that the blockchain technology that supports crypto assets is spreading to traditional finance.
For example, the tokenization of RWA (real world assets) is accelerating globally. A typical example is stablecoins, which are tokenized fiat currencies. It is expected to be introduced in Japan in mid-2024. In addition, Japan, where security tokens (digital securities) that tokenize real estate are showing steady growth, is leading the way in RWA initiatives globally, and is looking to expand supporting assets such as corporate bonds and VC funds. There is.
Blockchain technology is creating new possibilities for connections between people and the way communities exist. It’s a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). It is said that the invention of stocks developed capitalism, but DAOs and the tokens that support their operations have the potential to change stock-based capitalism.
Of course, these changes will not happen immediately. Mass adoption of Web3 is expected in 2024, but when we look back in 5 or 10 years, we are sure to realize that 2024 was a turning point.
We are at a turning point, so we want to enjoy the good fortune and fun of it and move forward. We hope that CoinDesk JAPAN’s New Year’s Special will help you with that.
CoinDesk JAPAN Editor-in-Chief Takayuki Masuda
New Year’s special lineup schedule
01Title undecided: Keio University Professor Toyotaka Sakai (scheduled to be released on the 1st)
02Mercari to start “shopping with Bitcoin” in 2024 ─ The next Mercari concept where digital comes and goes: Melcoin CEO Keita Nakamura (scheduled to be released on the 2nd)
03Title undecided: Hajime Ikeda, Executive Officer, Digital Company and Sales Department Marketing, Nomura Holdings (Released on the 3rd)
04Web3 is for the community. Creating a new layer on top of capitalism: Kazuma Ieiri, CEO of CAMPFIRE (scheduled to be released on the 4th)
05From a turbulent 2023 to an aggressive 2024: bitFlyer Holdings Representative Director and CEO Yuzo Kano (scheduled to be released on the 5th)
06Achieve results globally. A year of battle to grow to trillions of yen or tens of trillions of yen: Startale Labs CEO Sota Watanabe (scheduled to be released on the 6th)
07Title undecided: Shibuya Ward Mayor Ken Hasebe (scheduled to be released on the 7th)
08Title undecided: Gumi founder Hironao Kunimitsu (scheduled to be released on the 8th)
09Title undecided: Anderson Mori & Tomotsune Foreign Law Joint Venture Partner/Attorney Ken Kawai (scheduled to be released on the 9th)
TenTitle undecided: Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman and President of SBI Holdings (scheduled to be released on the 10th)