2024 is full of several events that will significantly impact market activity. The year has started where 2023 left off, and the crypto community is abuzz with excitement and anticipation of the upcoming trends.
According to a report from crypto market analytics platform IntoTheBlock (ITB), the potential spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) release, the upcoming Ethereum Dencun upgrade, and EigenLayer’s staking products launch are the catalysts that will drive crypto in 2024.
Spot Bitcoin ETF Launch
The spot Bitcoin ETF launch has already begun to drive activity in the crypto market. At the time of writing, BTC had rallied to $45,000, and crypto traders had gambled over $3.25 million on the outcome of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision on the products.
Over a dozen applications from major asset management firms are expected to receive a response from the SEC between January 8 and 10.
While the agency’s decision remains unknown, ITB said the answer to the approval question depends on the person answering. A Bitwise survey found that only 39% of financial advisors expect a spot Bitcoin ETF to launch in 2024, while Bloomberg analysts highlighted that the odds of the approval are at 90%.
There is also speculation about the effect of the spot Bitcoin ETF approval on the crypto market. Some market participants believe it could be a sell-the-news event, while others are bullish and predict the price of the leading digital asset will reach new yearly highs.
Ethereum’s Upcoming Dencun Upgrade
Furthermore, the upcoming Ethereum Dencun upgrade will be a catalyst affecting crypto in 2024. Initially scheduled for October 2023, the event is set to take place in late Q1 or early Q2. The update is expected to enhance Ethereum layer 2 (L2) rollup efficiency through proto-danksharding, which introduces temporary storage space for higher transactional throughput.
Additionally, the Dencun upgrade is expected to reduce transaction costs on L2 networks by 10x or more and, in turn, attract more economic activity into the ecosystem. In anticipation of this event, major L2 protocols have been experiencing significant price growth. Optimism’s native token, OP, is up 48% in the past month, while Arbitrum’s ARB has increased by 47% within the same period, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
New Staking and Liquid Staking Products
As a protocol that provides developers access to the Ethereum staked capital base and decentralized validator set, EigenLayer’s restaking product launch is one of the most anticipated events in 2024. The launch will introduce new applications to the ecosystem and benefit existing liquid staking protocols.
ITB believes staking on EigenLayer will provide higher yields than the existing staking rate. The protocol has already attracted more than $1 billion in deposits, with 70% coming through liquid staking as the community prepares for the products’ launch.