Decentralisation is a keyword in the modern financial industry. The crypto segment is developing rapidly, with new trends shaping the future of decentralised transactions. Here is what to expect from the cryptocurrency field in 2024.
From $15B in 2017 to $1.7T in 2024, the crypto market value has experienced an incredible rollercoaster journey. The transformation of crypto from a niche ‘geek thing’ to a financial instrument recognised by top global institutions and regulators alike is astonishing.
At the same time, the crypto and Web3 industry is still very far from the peak of its potential. To fully embrace the power of decentralised finance, one must keep good track of the fast-changing crypto market trends. In 2024, the main focus is centred around these few solid points.
Crypto Winter is Almost Over
In late 2023, Morgan Stanley analysts declared that crypto winter might be over, with a Bitcoin bull run fueled by crypto spot ETFs expectations being one of the major positive indicators.
Although not all analysts agree that the crypto segment has already emerged from the dark, it seems that the worst days of the crypto winter are already behind. Moreover, another bitcoin halving is scheduled for April. Based on historical patterns, Morgan Stanley predicts that “the shortage caused by the halving can affect the price of Bitcoin to potentially spur a bull run.”
2023 brought recovery for the cryptocurrency industry, as it largely rebounded from the reputational scandals, numerous domino bankruptcies, and price declines of 2022. Although the price of Bitcoin, which contributes to a large share of the overall crypto market, is still far from its $65K all-time-high, halving expectations and finally approved spot Bitcoin ETFs are promising much market speculation and upcoming crypto ‘spring’.
Gemini forecasts that the price of Bitcoin might increase as much as 123% within a year of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval. The growth of the crypto pioneer is likely to pump up the value of top altcoins as well, boosting the market resilience and development.
Crypto Pairs With AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is by far the most heavily funded and experimented with technology of today. Blockchain and crypto sectors won’t stay away from the transformational changes brought about by AI.
It is already evident that AI-related crypto tokens are experiencing significant price increases and enjoying growing investor confidence. AI cryptocurrencies are utility tokens that power AI blockchain platforms and are used to pay for the benefits of their integrated artificial intelligence.
The combination of AI and crypto opens new horizons for investors, enabling algorithmic trading, improved market analysis, enhanced cybersecurity and more sophisticated smart contracts.
Some experts also predict that AI bot agents will conduct crypto transactions on behalf of people in the near future and co-pilot smart contract creation.
Crypto Regulation to Become More Comprehensive
As the crypto segment becomes more mature, it is becoming evident that existing financial regulations do not reflect the specific mechanisms used by decentralised technologies. As local laws tend not to cover the scope of crypto transactions, some countries prefer to ban all financial activities linked to cryptocurrencies altogether.
Nevertheless, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently labelled such an approach as ineffective in the long run. If properly addressing the risks, crypto adoption brings numerous benefits such as protection against inflation and uncertain economic conditions, circumvention of capital controls, better access to banking services, cheaper and faster payments, and increased financial inclusion.
Therefore, many regulators are discussing creating separate comprehensive legal frameworks for addressing crypto risks and opportunities. One of the most advanced developments in this field is the EU’s MiCA crypto-specific regulation. The Bahamas also has displayed significant progress in crypto regulation, presenting the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Bill for public consideration.
At the same time, the U.S. is still lagging behind when it comes to crypto regulation. Despite the recent approval of spot crypto Bitcoin ETFs, local regulation by enforcement is failing to provide much-needed clarity for future crypto investment product cases or properly protect consumers.
The lack of legal clarity significantly stifles innovation. Meanwhile, an outright ban typically doesn’t prevent users from accessing crypto services and engaging in crypto trading. One illustration of that is mainland China.
It is expected that global regulators will actively develop sets of regulations specifically dedicated to the crypto market in 2024 or improve existing laws with crypto-specific amendments.
DeFi and DePIN to Evolve
The combination of blockchain transparency and AI in cybersecurity solutions brings up advanced smart contract auditing tools, insurance protocols, and decentralised identity verification. As the technologies can better mitigate risks and build trust among users, a safer environment emerges for the growth of decentralised finance (DeFi).
The DeFi landscape is changing swiftly as well, with narratives like bridging blockchain networks, enhancing user experience, more sophisticated governance structures for DAOs and addressing environmental concerns with sustainable crypto projects, coming to the forefront. Decentralised identity solutions and oracle networks are also expected to play a prominent role in the evolution of DeFi in 2024.
While DeFi is more or less a term of common knowledge these days, DePIN – decentralised physical infrastructure – is only budding in its potential to disrupt the market largely controlled by BigTech today.
There are many opportunities for DePIN to transform secure and connected technologies, enabling users to generate wealth and value from their data and activity on the network. Its use cases range from car connectivity, automated vehicle management and efficient traffic flow control, to logistics and supply chain tracking, data storage networks, decentralised energy grids and micropayments between connected machines and devices.
Crypto Gaming Market to Gain Prominence
Online gaming is one of the areas where the use of crypto is natural and straightforward. It is one of the most utilitarian use cases for crypto today. Due to the growing public demand, the variety and accessibility of crypto and Bitcoin gaming platforms steadily increases. In 2024, the trend is going to become more mainstream.
Firstly, online gaming is gradually becoming a viable source of income for people across the globe. Crypto enables gaming gains with two powerful monetisation models – “pay-to-win” and “play to earn”.
The infrastructure for Web3 game development is also experiencing rapid expansion, with mobile gaming becoming an increasingly appealing platform for Web3 developers. The shift to mobile form is happening due to enhanced onboarding processes and more liberal regulations.
According to Delphi Digital’s recent report titled “The Year Ahead for Gaming 2024,” player liquidity will become one of the main topics for crypto gaming this year. The crucial focus on player liquidity for various gaming-specific networks, subnets, and blockchains is underscored by significant growth of on-chain transactions related to the blockchain gaming space recorded in 2023.
At the same time, crypto gaming startups still face a lot of challenges on their way to mass adoption of the crypto gaming products. One of the obstacles is that user acquisition for blockchain games is much more expensive (in certain cases, 77% higher) compared to non-Web3 alternatives. Another issue is the absence of proper regulation that makes transactions vulnerable to scams and brings out risks many customers are not willing to take.
Last year showed even the fiercest crypto sceptics that decentralised financial technologies are here to stay. Despite all the risks and speculations, cryptocurrencies are gaining institutional-grade trust and legal recognition. In 2024, there’s more to expect.
To begin with, some emerging trends like DePIN, player liquidity in crypto gaming, and AI cryptocurrencies will advance and gain more prominence. In addition, experts expect better thought-out crypto regulation to arrive shortly. Finally, 2024 might become a blooming period of ‘crypto spring’ for the joy of all crypto investors and startups.