Bitcoin new high set for late 2024, Binance to lose top spot, predicts VanEck


Bitcoin (BTC) will hit a new all-time high in late 2024 on the backdrop of a long-feared United States recession and regulatory shifts after the next U.S. presidential election, asset manager VanEck predicts.

On Dec. 8, VanEck made 15 crypto predictions for 2024, including price forecasts, timings of a spot Bitcoin ETF launch, the impact of the Bitcoin halving, and emerging dominant crypto platforms.

VanEck is among several firms including BlackRock and Fidelity, which are vying for an approved spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, as well as a spot Ethereum ETF. 

$2.4B to flow into Bitcoin ETFs in Q1

VanEck is confident that the first spot Bitcoin ETFs will be approved in the first quarter. However, it also had a gloomy prediction for the U.S. economy.

“The US recession will finally arrive, but so will the first spot Bitcoin ETFs,” it stated before predicting that “more than $2.4 billion may flow into these ETFs in Q1 2024 to support Bitcoin’s price.”

The firm also stated that the BTC halving, due in April or May, “will see minimal market disruption,” but there will be a post-halving price rise.

VanEck predicts that Bitcoin will make an all-time high in Q4 2024, “potentially spurred by political events and regulatory shifts following a U.S. presidential election.”

The United States presidential elections are scheduled to be held on Nov. 5, 2024.

Ether won’t flip Bitcoin

The firm also said it believes Ether (ETH) won’t likely flip Bitcoin in 2024 but will still outperform major tech stocks.

“Like past cycles, Bitcoin will lead the market to rally, and the value will flow into smaller tokens just after the halving. ETH won’t begin outperforming Bitcoin until post-halving and may outperform for the year, but there will be no ‘flippening,’” wrote VanEck.

ETH/BTC price ratio. Source: VanEck

Despite this, Ether’s market share will be challenged by other smart contract platforms such as Solana, which has “less uncertainty surrounding their scalability roadmap,” it predicted.

Ethereum is the current industry standard for smart contracts with a market capitalization of $285 billion. Solana is a rival high-throughput blockchain with a market cap of $30 billion.

However, Ethereum layer-2 networks will capture the majority of EVM-compatible total value locked and trading volume once the EIP-4844 scaling update is implemented, it said.

Decentralization to hurt AI monopolies

Earlier this week, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) also made several predictions in their Big Ideas in Tech for 2024 report released on Dec. 6, though the focus was more on artificial intelligence and decentralization. a16z is one of the industry’s largest venture capital firms investing millions every year in Web3 startups.

The VC firm believes crypto could help move AI out of the grasp of a few tech giants such as OpenAI, Google, and Meta and into the wider Web3 community.

It said that decentralized networks counterbalance centralized artificial intelligence models which currently require massive resources only accessible to tech giants.

However, crypto networks can enable permissionless markets where anyone can contribute computing power and data to train large language models, and there will be more of this in 2024.

“With crypto, it becomes possible to create multi-sided, global, permissionless markets where anyone can contribute — and be compensated — for contributing compute or a new dataset to the network.”

Related: Bitcoin to the moon! Top 5 BTC price predictions for 2024 and beyond

VanEck also predicted that Binance would lose the top position as a centralized exchange by volumes as competitors like Coinbase, OKX, Bybit, and Bitget contend for leadership.

Binance has been embroiled in regulatory pressure across the globe recently culminating in its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, a highly influential industry leader, stepping down amid a $4 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department

Meanwhile, stablecoin market capitalization will reach $200 billion, Circle’s USDC will make a comeback, decentralized exchanges will reach a new peak for spot trading volumes, and KYC-compliant DeFi platforms will likely surpass non-KYC ones, it predicted.

KYC-enabled and walled garden apps like those using Ethereum Attestation Service or Uniswap Hooks will gain significant traction, approaching or even flipping non-KYC applications in user base and fees. 

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