4 Bitcoin Catalysts That Will Shape the Crypto Market in 2024

Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, has been on a remarkable rally since late 2023, reaching new highs and attracting widespread attention.

But what are the main factors driving its price and performance in 2024?

In this article, intergovernmental blockchain expert Anndy Lian will explore four potential catalysts that could have a significant impact on Bitcoin’s future — the impact of spot BTC exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the upcoming Bitcoin halving, the June quarterly expiry of Bitcoin options and futures, and the U.S. presidential election.

Key Takeaways

  • Approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is already seeing an inflow of new capital into BTC.
  • The Bitcoin halving — expected to happen in April  — may either be priced in, or may trigger a further bull run.
  • The June expiry of Bitcoin options and futures may trigger volatility.
  • The US will choose between two very different Presidential candidates in November —each with different opinions on crypto and blockchain.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs: A Game Changer for the Industry?

One of the most anticipated events in the crypto space was the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US, which began trading in January 2024. These are financial products that track the price of Bitcoin and allow investors to buy and sell shares through their existing brokerage accounts without having to deal with the complexities and risks of directly holding or storing the cryptocurrency.

The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen as a major regulatory breakthrough and a validation of Bitcoin as a legitimate asset class. It is also expected to attract more institutional and retail investors into the crypto market, increasing the demand and liquidity for Bitcoin. As of the middle of March 2024, nine Bitcoin ETFs hold nearly half a million BTC.

Not everyone is optimistic about the impact of spot Bitcoin ETFs on the crypto industry. Some critics argue that these products could introduce more volatility and manipulation into the market, as well as undermine the decentralized and peer-to-peer nature of Bitcoin. Moreover, some investors may prefer to hold Bitcoin directly rather than through a third-party intermediary to enjoy the full benefits of its security, privacy, and resistance to censorship.

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Bitcoin Halving: A Supply Shock or a Non-Event?

Another key event that could affect Bitcoin’s price and performance in 2024 is the Bitcoin halving, which is expected to occur next month. This is a pre-programmed adjustment to the Bitcoin protocol that reduces the amount of new Bitcoins generated per block by 50%, from 6.25 to 3.125 Bitcoins. This means that the annual inflation rate of Bitcoin will drop from about 1.8% to 0.9%, making it scarcer and more valuable.

Historically, each halving event has coincided with the beginning of a bull market for Bitcoin, as the supply reduction creates a supply-demand imbalance that drives the price up. For instance, the first halving in 2012 was followed by a 9,000% increase in Bitcoin’s price over the next year, while the second halving in 2016 was followed by a 2,800% increase over the next 18 months. The third halving in 2020 was followed by a 400% increase over the next 12 months.

Some analysts caution that the halving effect may not be as strong or predictable as in the past, as the market has become more mature and efficient, and the halving is already priced in by the rational expectations of investors. Moreover, the halving may not have a direct causal relationship with the price movements, as other factors, such as macroeconomic developments, regulatory changes, and technological innovations, may also play a role. Therefore, the halving may not necessarily trigger a new bull run but rather confirm an existing trend.

June Quarterly Expiry: A Volatility Spike or a Smooth Transition?

Another factor that could influence Bitcoin’s price and performance in 2024 is the June quarterly expiry of Bitcoin options and futures, which is scheduled for June 21, 2024. This is the date when a large number of contracts that give investors the right or obligation to buy or sell Bitcoin at a predetermined price and date expire and settle.

The expiry of these contracts could have a significant impact on the market, as investors may adjust their positions or exercise their options before or on the expiry date, creating large buy or sell orders that could move the price. Moreover, the expiry could also affect the implied volatility of Bitcoin, which is a measure of how much the market expects the price to fluctuate in the future. A high implied volatility means that the market anticipates large price movements, while a low implied volatility means that the market expects stable price movements.

Some analysts expect that the June quarterly expiry could cause a spike in volatility, as the market may experience increased uncertainty and speculation ahead of the event. This could create opportunities for traders to profit from the price swings but also pose risks for investors who are not prepared for the potential price shocks.

On the other hand, some analysts believe that the June quarterly expiry could be a smooth transition, as the market may have already priced in the event and adjusted its positions accordingly. This could result in a calm and orderly market with minimal impact on the price and volatility.

US Presidential Election: A Bullish or a Bearish Scenario?

The final event that could have a significant impact on Bitcoin’s price and performance in 2024 is the U.S. presidential election, which will take place on November 5, 2024. The election will determine the next president and vice president of the United States, as well as the composition of the Congress and the state governments. The outcome of the election could have major implications for the U.S. and global economy, the geopolitical landscape, and the regulatory environment for the crypto industry.

The main contenders for the presidency are the incumbent Democrat Joe Biden, who is running for re-election, and the former Republican Donald Trump, who is running for a second, non-consecutive term. Both candidates have different views and policies on various issues, such as taxation, trade, health care, immigration, foreign affairs, and climate change, that could affect economic growth, inflation, interest rates, and market sentiment in the U.S. and abroad.

The election could also have a direct impact on the crypto industry, as both candidates have different stances and approaches to the regulation and innovation of the crypto space. Biden has been generally supportive of the crypto industry, in my opinion, as he has expressed interest in exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and fostering the development of blockchain technology.

Trump, on the other hand, has been generally hostile to the crypto industry, as he has repeatedly criticized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, calling them a “scam” and a “threat” to the U.S. dollar. He has also imposed sanctions and restrictions on several countries and entities that are involved in the crypto space.

He has also expressed skepticism and opposition to the idea of a CBDC and the innovation of blockchain. However, things may be turning for Trump, who is now appearing to be warming towards Bitcoin in a recent article, saying that some regulation was likely required, but many people are embracing it, and he could “live with it one way or the other.”

The Bottom Line

Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, has a lot of potential catalysts that could affect its price and performance in 2024. These include spot Bitcoin ETFs, the upcoming Bitcoin halving, the June quarterly expiry of Bitcoin options and futures, and the U.S. presidential election. Each of these events could have positive or negative implications for the crypto industry, depending on how they unfold and how the market reacts.

Therefore, investors and traders should be aware of these events and their possible outcomes and be prepared for the opportunities and challenges that they may bring.

Nevertheless, Bitcoin has reached a new all-time high of over $73,000. I am still very positive about its outcome for this year.

Let’s see.

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Anndy Lian
Intergovernmental Blockchain Expert

Anndy Lian is an all-rounded business strategist in Asia. He has provided advisory across a variety of industries for local, international, public-listed companies and governments. He is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur, best-selling book author, investor, board member, and and keynote speaker. Anndy's contributions extend to his role as an Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain division of Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea's leading automotive manufacturer. Additionally, he has played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an esteemed intergovernmental organization dedicated to enhancing productivity throughout the Asia-Pacific region.…