The bull market is back.
The Nasdaq Crypto Index had a double digit return in November and bitcoin is currently trading above $44,000. While there are certainly potential headwinds in the new year, the combination of macro conditions, a spot ETF in the US, and Bitcoin’s halving are setting up 2024 to be monumental for crypto investors.
We cover these topics and more in our 2024 Crypto Investment Outlook and on Wednesday. December 13th we’ll discuss what investors should be thinking about going into the new year in our webinar. You can register for the webinar here.
This will be our last Monthly Letter for 2023. As crypto enters a new regime of opportunity in the new year, we want to thank each of you for your ongoing trust.
In 2024, our team is uniting around a theme of getting “back to boldness,” and we are greatly appreciative to have you along for this exciting journey.
-Your Partners at Hashdex
November was quite a positive month for risk assets, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 recording gains of 9.1% and 10.8%, respectively. As a result, both indices recovered losses accumulated over the three consecutive months of decline between August and October. The explanation for this increase is primarily an improvement in the macroeconomic outlook in the US, including inflation data below expectations, reaffirmations that the FOMC has already concluded the interest rate hiking cycle, and signs of improvement on the fiscal front. In this environment, crypto assets also appreciated, with the Nasdaq Crypto Index rising 10.7%, with several altcoins driving the outperformance.
Bitcoin (+9.6%) and Ethereum (+13.0%) were the fifth and fourth best performers among the eight constituents of the NCI. Topping the podium were Uniswap, Chainlink, and Polkadot, with increases of 44.1%, 26.6%, and 22.7%, respectively. One of the reasons cited for the strong appreciation of Uniswap was the increase in transaction fees collected by the decentralized exchange, which had its best month in history in November.
Among the sectoral indices from CF Benchmarks, the best result came from the Smart Contract Platforms, which surged 34.5%, led by the highest-weighted asset, Solana (+63.9%). Despite the strong appreciation, Solana was only the third best among the index constituents, behind Immutable X (+96.1%) and Avalanche (87.0%). The Decentralized Finance (DEFI) and Digital Culture indices rose by 26.1% and 16.2%, respectively. The Vinter Hashdex Risk Parity Momentum Index appreciated by 22.4%.
Returning to the NCI, with the November results, it surpassed a 100% gain for the year. Optimism has returned to dominate the market, and assets other than bitcoin and ether are once again drawing attention. All of this leads to our continued belief that 2023 will close strongly. This raises expectations for 2024, when there will be the Bitcoin halving and likely the first crypto ETFs listed in the US.
UK asset managers given go-ahead to launch ‘tokenized’ funds
The UK's financial regulator endorses a blueprint for asset managers to tokenize funds using blockchain. Tokenization is seen as a way to boost efficiency and transparency in financial services, with real-time record-keeping reducing costs and enabling quicker settlements. This aligns with the global trend of investment firms adopting digital asset strategies and tokenization.
MicroStrategy buys $593M of BTC, may raise up to $750M in new stock sale
MicroStrategy, led by Michael Saylor, has made its largest bitcoin purchase in over two years, acquiring an additional 16,130 bitcoins for $593.3 million. This transaction elevates the company's total bitcoin holdings to 174,540 bitcoins, reassuring its leadership among public companies in including bitcoin as a balance sheet strategy.
Binance's Zhao pleads guilty, steps down as part of DOJ settlement
The US Department of Justice closed a $4.3 billion settlement with crypto exchange Binance, concluding its investigation into the company's alleged involvement in money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations. As part of the deal, Binance must meet conditions including the payment of fines, admission of non-compliance, and setting up a monitoring process for future legal compliance.
Spot bitcoin ETF discussions continue at SEC
Memos released by the SEC show that the regulator continues to meet with issuers that have filed for spot bitcoin ETFs. The ongoing discussions are a positive sign that the SEC will at some point approve spot ETFs, but the timing of this remains unclear.
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