The menu promises to be much better this year

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, with the holiday season in full swing, Christmas just around the corner, and families gearing up to celebrate with special dinners. This year, Christmas family dinner may be less awkward for crypto proponents who had the tricky task in 2022 of explaining why everything had collapsed around the digital currency ecosystem.

That’s because things have changed again for crypto — rapidly — over the past quarter, with Bitcoin (BTC) recovering above $40,000 and most altcoins already having won back more than half of the value they shed during the bear market. With a critical bull run catalyst in the form of Bitcoin’s block reward halving just months away, this is an excellent time to be “the crypto person” at Christmas dinner.

Indeed, there’s no better time to be a crypto bro at any family gathering than just before a bull run. Topics of discussion can leap from crypto investment advice to what’s on the regulatory front, memecoins, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and much more. Cointelegraph has prepared an outline of topics and discussions that might come in handy to answer any family members’ curious queries.

Bitcoin’s fundamentals

The crypto ecosystem began with Bitcoin in 2009, and throughout the years since, it’s been written down and pronounced dead hundreds of times. However, the OG cryptocurrency has proven everyone wrong on all those occasions, going on to record new price highs each cycle. Starting from zero, BTC reached a new all-time high of $69,683 during the peak of the 2021 bull season and is currently sitting above $40,000, potentially on its way to breaking past its previous ATH.

A primary reason for BTC’s monumental growth over the past decade has been its solid fundamentals, which have not only helped it grow exponentially but also led institutions and governments who at one point were dead against it to accept it. The capped supply of 21 million coins, paired with its block reward halving every four years, has created an ideal balance of supply and demand, helping it climb to new highs and reach new acceptance.

Bitcoin’s highly decentralized nature has made it nearly immune to the government-enforced regulatory crackdowns many other cryptocurrencies have faced. After the next block reward halving, which is expected in April, the amount of Bitcoin produced every block will be reduced from the current 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, potentially prompting more institutions to rush to add it to their balance sheet.

The institutional rush

Each bull run of the past decade has been fueled by some type of catalyst. In 2017, raw retail demand saw BTC touch its then ATH of over $17,000. The 2021 bull run was driven more by an institutional rush, with traditional venture capital firms pouring millions of dollars into crypto companies, creating over a dozen crypto unicorns.

However, 2024 may play out differently, with high-profile institutional giants such as BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager — seeking to invest directly in a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) and retail demand primed to soar in tandem. Indeed, 2024 could be the year when retail and institutional drivers combine to send the crypto market to previously unattained heights.

Another sign that a bull run is seemingly imminent is the capital being invested in crypto. Venture capital funding pretty much dried up after the collapse of FTX, but VC money has now started to flow in again.

The crypto regulatory front has never looked clearer

A significant hurdle and frequent argument against most cryptocurrencies has been the lack of regulatory clarity around the space. Most governments have been unsure whether crypto is something they want to interact with, but that has changed for many countries today. Numerous governments worldwide have now taken significant steps to structure tailored regulations to govern virtual assets and pave the way for a parallel economy to thrive.

Some of the most notable crypto-focused legislation to have emerged includes the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, set to take effect in 2024, with 27 member states under its umbrella. Hong Kong took the lead in Asia and developed its own regulatory framework for retail and institutional investors to ensure a secure environment for crypto-centered activities.

The United Arab Emirates has also become one of the earlier nations to develop more straightforward regulations, while the United States and Central American nations continue to push for more explicit regulatory policies.

Your family may want to know which memecoin will deliver 100X returns this bull run, but remember that one should never offer investment advice unless they are an expert. Instead, a good strategy is to explain the fundamentals of the bull run and ask relatives to do their own research before investing rather than taking anyone’s potentially biased advice. Certain investment advice might seem obvious today as the bull run creeps nearer, but never forget it could that the advice could age poorly, like those pushing LUNA and rock JPGs during the previous bull run.