Bitcoin’s third straight month of gains fuels altcoin comeback

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Bitcoin marked its third consecutive month of gains at the close of November, prompting a renewed interest in alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) that had initially picked up in October. Consequently, the total market value of all cryptocurrency projects, excluding Bitcoin and Ethereum, has recently reached a peak last seen in August 2022.

The potential for an extensive ‘altseason’ remains uncertain, but various industry sectors, previously inactive during the bear market, are beginning to exhibit early signs of revival. The Cointelegraph Research Monthly Trends report for December 2023 offers a comprehensive analysis of these emerging trends.

This month’s edition covers a range of topics, including Bitcoin market trends, developments in decentralized finance (DeFi), movements in crypto stocks, venture capital activities, derivatives, mining sector updates, and the progress in tokenization of real-world assets.

Download a PDF of the Report for free from the Cointelegraph Research Terminal.

Infrastructure and Web3 lead the charge in crypto VC funding flood

Amid persistent global geopolitical unrest and elevated interest rates in the European Union and the United States, the cryptocurrency venture capital (VC) sector experienced a surge in funding during November. Investment inflows reached $973 million through 93 separate deals, the most significant activity observed since June 2023, representing a nearly 40% increase from the previous month.

This contrasts sharply with October’s performance, where only three deals exceeded $20 million. In November, however, there were five investments, each surpassing the $50 million threshold. This surge in capital inflow may be driven by a combination of positive news sentiment, the recent uptrend in the cryptocurrency market, and a temporary halt in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The infrastructure and Web3 sectors emerged as leaders in the number of funding rounds, recording 37 and 30 rounds, respectively. Centralized finance (CeFi) secured the second-highest investment volume this month, with $216.4 million distributed across five deals.

This unexpected surge can be largely attributed to two substantial funding events: Blockchain.com secured $110 million in a series E funding round, and OSL, a centralized exchange (CEX) operated by BC Technology Group in Hong Kong, completed a $90 million round. Following closely, the Web3 and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors raised $160.5 million and $78.4 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, the nonfungible token (NFT) sector concluded the list with a relatively modest three funding rounds, amassing $11.5 million.

Bitcoin futures surge in popularity on the CME

Venture capital activities and modest rallies in minor altcoins indicate a shift of capital towards higher-risk assets. This trend is anticipated to intensify following the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) in the United States. Leading ETF analysts, James Seyffart and Eric Baluchnas, have recently increased their likelihood estimates for an approval by Jan. 10 to 90%.

This optimism is mirrored in the rising institutional interest in Bitcoin-based exchange-traded products. Evidence of this growing interest can be seen in the Bitcoin futures market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), where open interest escalated by more than 20% in November.

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