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January 9, 2024

Blockchain in 2023 – a Year in Review

Blockchain in 2023 - a Year in Review
Katya Richardson

Written by Katya Richardson

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As we embark on the threshold of the new year, let us delve into a comprehensive retrospective of the crypto landscape in 2023. This blog aims to provide an overarching review of Crypto’s remarkable journey, delving into the events or factors that influenced its ups and downs.

Australia Leads the Crypto Charge

As the year 2023 wraps up, let’s unpack the highs and lows of the crypto scene. Australia, a standout player in this global game, has cemented its position as a crypto powerhouse. According to the Swyftx Australian digital assets survey, Australia boasts the highest crypto adoption rate among developed nations, standing tall at 23%. That’s ahead of the United States at 16% and the United Kingdom at 12%. Currently, around 4.5 million Aussies own crypto, up from 4.2 million in 2022 and 3.4 million in 2021.

HedgewithCrypto’s report reveals that Australia’s crypto adoption has more than doubled since 2020, hitting 18% in 2023. This surge is remarkable, especially when compared to the United States, which grappled with regulatory challenges throughout the year. Aussies are diving deep into crypto, evident from the surge in online searches – 312 monthly searches for cryptocurrency per 100,000 Australians in 2022, marking a whopping 196% increase since 2020.

Despite a few bumps, Australia has emerged as a global leader in crypto adoption. A whopping 31% of Australians see crypto as the future of online transactions, up by 3% from last year. Predictions indicate that over 900,000 Aussies will join the crypto ranks next year, making a quarter of the population crypto enthusiasts. Australia’s crypto trajectory is on an upward swing, securing its leadership in this evolving domain.

Crypto adoption on the rise in Australia

Regulatory Rollercoaster

In 2023, Bitcoin encountered significant regulatory challenges in its remarkable journey. Governments and regulatory bodies globally grappled with the classification and regulation of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s decentralised nature posed unique challenges, as it didn’t neatly fit within conventional financial regulations.

The regulatory landscape had a notable impact on Bitcoin’s price and market sentiment. Announcements of regulatory crackdowns or positive developments could rapidly provoke price fluctuations, adding to the inherent volatility of the cryptocurrency.

FTX Trial

The FTX trial involving Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, became a pivotal moment in the Aussie crypto saga. Accused of diverting customer funds for personal use, he faced charges of fraud, embezzlement, and criminal conspiracy. The trial uncovered shocking revelations, including a secret recording accusing Bankman-Fried of fund diversion and a significant bribe to Chinese officials. His potential 110-year prison sentence emphasizes the importance of ethical practices in Australia’s crypto industry.

Binance, a major global player, also faced regulatory heat. A deal with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Treasury Department addressed U.S. law violations, involving at least $10 billion moved to evade sanctions. Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, stepped down, agreeing to a $50 million fine. Binance, shelling out $4.3 billion in fines, emerged with a green light to continue operations.

Legal Tussle: Ripple vs. SEC

Ripple’s legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shaped Australia’s regulatory landscape. A pivotal ruling declared Ripple’s XRP token sales on public exchanges compliant with federal securities laws, triggering a surge in XRP’s value. However, the court deemed direct sales of XRP to sophisticated investors as unregistered securities sales. The ongoing legal saga holds implications for crypto exchanges, making it a crucial chapter in Australia’s regulatory review.

2023 crypto year in review

Ethereum's Triumphs

In February, Ethereum outshone Bitcoin with a 1.6% increase. The Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade in April allowed the unprecedented ability to un-stake Ethereum, boosting liquidity. Ethereum reached $2,120 post-upgrade.

Ethereum performace 2023

Bitcoin's Rollercoaster

Bitcoin faced challenges in June as the SEC sued Coinbase and Binance, causing a downturn. However, by December, Bitcoin rebounded strongly, hitting over $44,000, a 150% YTD return. In April 2024, Bitcoin will experience a significant event called “halving.” During this event, the rewards for Bitcoin miners will be cut in half, decreasing from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC for producing one block. This four-year occurrence historically boosts Bitcoin’s value, creating excitement among investors and enthusiasts who anticipate a positive impact on the cryptocurrency’s price due to the decreased supply of new coins.

Top Crypto Performers

In 2023, Bitcoin and Ethereum yielded returns of over 155% and 90%, respectively. Other top performers included Solana (965%), Avalanche (266%), Cardano (147%), Polkadot (96%), Tron (95%), XRP (82%), BNB (31%), Dogecoin (30%), and Shiba Inu (30%).

Conclusion: Riding the Crypto Wave

Crypto had a wild ride in 2023 with ups and downs. It showed how cryptocurrencies can change finance and attract Aussie investors. Looking to 2024 and beyond, one thing is clear – the crypto journey is just beginning. Despite challenges like scalability and rules, the overall picture looks good for blockchain’s impact on global industries. As Aussie investors, we need to be cautious, resilient and focused on the long term.

The information presented on this website is general information only. It should not be taken as constituting professional advice from the website owner – Hiddup PTY LTD (Hiddup). Any information regarding past performance and returns contained on this website should not be construed or interpreted as a prediction or opinion as to future performance and returns. Hiddup is not a financial adviser. All views and observations expressed by Hiddup on this website are for information purposes only, are general in nature and should not be treated as investment or financial advice of any kind.