WEF says cryptos will revolutionize the global financial system as U.S. regulators highlight the risks
(Kitco News) - The World Economic Forum (WEF) has become the latest global organization to comment on the struggles of the crypto industry in 2022, likening the steep downturn in the market to an “ice age” rather than the popular “crypto winter” term used by proponents.
This has led to a broad loss of confidence, economic value, and the collapse of numerous firms and projects, the WEF noted, which has possibly brought an end to the era of crypto speculation and will give way to a “Cambrian explosion for responsible, always-on internet finance.”
The international non-governmental and lobbying organization suggested that 2023 could mark a turning point for the nascent asset class and lead to the entrance of larger players who will bring a greater level of stability to the ecosystem.
“Just as it took the dot-com bubble bursting in the early 2000s to hand over the future of the internet to more durable companies, business models and use cases, perhaps 2022 marks a handover of crypto technology and blockchain infrastructure to steadier hands,” the WEF said.
Despite the setbacks of 2022, the exploration of integrating cryptography and blockchain with the financial sector continues unabated while the technology remains generalizable to all industries and coordinating activities.
This is evidenced by the about-face policy decisions by JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S., which has gone from forbidding its traders from purchasing Bitcoin to launching its own JPMorgan Coin and providing financial services to some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
“Arguably, just as boards and executive teams reluctantly owned their cybersecurity and digital transformation mandates, the embrace of crypto technology is equally inevitable, even if the term feels like a bad word,” the WEF said. “For all its faults, this technology remains a protagonist in the global financial world.”
“Coinbase’s premium brand, position as an onshore/regulated entity, scale, and healthy balance sheet should enable it to weather the industrywide fallout from FTX’s collapse, but the immediate impact is decidedly negative with trading volumes facing incremental pressure,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a note on Monday.
The analysts started coverage of Coinbase COIN, +16.46% at hold Monday, with a price target of $35. Shares of Coinbase rallied 15.7%, and were last trading at 38.46.
“We expect COIN to regain a portion of its share losses from the past 2+ years, but still see a steep climb to Street estimates in FY25, which we believe embed a bitcoin recovery to ~$25k,” they continued.
The BIS is scared. Crypto is a legit threat to the current financial/monetary order.
The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has published a new report outlining the risks present in the crypto ecosystem and the solutions to address them.www.kitco.com
Last week, at a crypto conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, CNBC spoke to industry insiders who painted a picture of 2023 as year of caution. Bitcoin
is expected to trade within a range, be sensitive to the macroeconomic situation such as interest rate rises and continue to be volatile. A new bull run is unlikely in 2023.
However, experts are looking to next year and beyond with optimism.
Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares, said bitcoin is likely to be rangebound trading at the lower end between $15,000 and $20,000 and on the upper end between $25,000 to $30,000.
She said a lot of the "forced selling" that happened in 2022 as a result of collapses in the market is now over, but there isn't much new money coming into bitcoin.
"I don't think there's a lot of forced selling remaining, which is optimistic," Demirors told CNBC Friday. "But again, I think the upside is quite limited, because we also don't see a lot of new inflows coming in."
In CNBC's interviews, several industry participants spoke about historical bitcoin cycles, which happen roughly every four years. Typically, bitcoin will hit an all time high, then have a massive correction. There will be a bad year and then a year of mild recovery.
Then "halving" will happen. This is when miners, who run specialized machines to effectively validate transactions on the bitcoin networks, see their rewards for mining cut in half. Miners get bitcoin as a reward for validating transactions. The halving, which happens every four years, effectively slows down the supply of bitcoin onto the market. There will ever only be 21 million bitcoin in circulation.
Halving usually precedes a bull run. The next halving event takes place in 2024.
Scaramucci called 2023 a "recovery year" for bitcoin and predicted it could trade at $50,000 to $100,000 in two to three years.
... the Ethereum Shanghai update scheduled to be implemented sometime in March, ...
The main goal of the Shanghai update is to enable staking withdrawals, which have been disabled since the launch of the beacon chain in Dec. 2020.
During the 99th Consensus Layer (CL) call on Dec. 1, Ethereum developers decided that they intended to roll out Ethereum staking withdrawals with the upcoming Shanghai hard fork due to the fact that some stakers have had their tokens locked for two years. At that time, the upgrade also included the implementation of "EVM Object Format" (EOF), which is a collection of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) designed to upgrade the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and make future upgrades easier.
On Jan. 6, developers held another call where they agreed to exclude the planned implementation of EOF from the Shanghai upgrade over concerns that its complexity would delay the implementation of withdrawals.
At the time of writing, data from Beaconcha.in shows that there are 16,149,561 Ether worth approximately $26.19 billion deposited into the Ethereum staking contract and currently unable to be withdrawn. According to Wennerge.com, the Shanghai upgrade will take place on March 31.