Amy and David’s sure-fire* analyst predictions on crypto for 2024!

* within acceptable margins of error

By Amy Castor and David Gerard

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“if you told me two years ago that everyone who bought a bored ape would have now lost 200K and gone blind, i would have said ‘yeah, probably.’”




2023: Our Dumb Year

We shot our mouths off a year ago, and again in March, and made way too many testable predictions for a good psychic. How did we do?

The crypto collapse that began in 2022 with the collapses of algorithmic stablecoin Terra-Luna and crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital continued — with failures such as investment firm Genesis (a massive bad loan to 3AC) and custodian Prime Trust (who were playing Terra-Luna with customer funds).

We predicted the US regulators would go absolutely feral now that the Blockchain Eight in Congress weren’t actively hobbling them from going after the crooks. 2023 was the year of regulators cutting loose — with not only multiple SEC and CFTC actions but FinCEN and OFAC taking on crypto money laundering.

2023 was also the year of Sam Bankman-Fried! Just not in the way he was hoping. FTX and Celsius turned out to be even more screwed up than anyone had thought possible. The world found out how Effective Altruism works! It’s rich assholes making excuses why greed is good. Plus, we assume, some good people.

Various exchanges tried to step in to replace FTX as the dodgy crypto futures exchange of choice — Wintermute and Justin Sun’s HTX (formerly Huobi) both had a good go. But really, it was mostly just Binance. Even BitMEX, the OG derivatives platform, is way down on volume.

The big money got shy. US commodities traders like Jump Trading found there was a bit too much regulatory heat around crypto, so they are pulling away from the business.

Stablecoins weren’t stable. Binance USD was shut down. The Pax Dollar is still around, though it dipped to 85 cents at one point. Circle’s USDC issuance has halved. Tethers keep magically appearing from nowhere.

Crypto media is still screwed, as we noted in our most recent crypto collapse newsletter.

Hoo boy, did we call trouble for banks that let crypto in the door. Crypto caused a historic string of bank failures in 2023, taking out Silvergate, Signature, Farmington/Moonstone, and Heartland Tri-State — and Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse put USDC’s backing reserve into danger.

The bitcoin price went up, in a totally organic fashion! Helped by five billion tethers printed from nowhere. So we missed on that one. Fresh new dollars still failed to show up in the crypto trading market, as Coinbase had to reveal to the world. The public still hates crypto.

Crypto didn’t come up with anything stupider than NFTs — but with ordinals, which have been clogging the bitcoin and TON blockchains, they’ve come up with a stupider NFT.

The only prediction we really missed was that Binance or Tether would be taken down. Neither was completely shut down in 2023 — but they’ve both been co-opted by the feds, which is halfway there.

What we’re pretty sure will happen in 2024

Binance is the largest crypto exchange and it runs — or ran — on money laundering. Founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and Binance both entered a plea deal with the US Department of Justice in November 2023.

We predict that Binance is going to have an extremely hard time complying with its new monitoring obligations to FinCEN, let alone running a sustainable business if it can’t bank for crooks. If Binance doesn’t file for bankruptcy or get forced into liquidation, we expect it to greatly diminish.

If Binance complies at all, the past data on their customers should be a treasure trove for the feds and a disaster for bad actors in crypto.

CZ, who is stuck in the US while he awaits sentencing in February, is likely to get an actual jail term — or supervised release at an absolute minimum. He’s not just walking with a fine.

Regulators aren’t letting up. In the US, the SEC, the CFTC, and the New York Attorney General are on a roll, viciously applying things like “long-standing laws” to crypto firms. We anticipate more enforcement suits and criminal indictments in the New Year.

The SEC will approve a cash-create bitcoin ETF in 2024 — and it will fall on its butt(coin). The SEC will not approve an in-kind ETF. There won’t be a drastic flow of new cash into these ETFs.

Sometime in April or May 2024, the next bitcoin mining reward halving — to 3.125 BTC per block, from the current 6.25 — will mean the bitcoin price would have to be at least $60,000 for mining to be sustainable. Texas can’t subsidize this forever. Several more miners will go broke, and good riddance.

Crypto will keep trying to pump itself up — expect lots of tether printing and a string of bitcoin pumps.

What we’d like to see happen in 2024

Tether executives should finally get nailed. We would love to see another Liberty Reserve — the company’s executives indicted and its website seized by the US Global Illicit Finance Team. But we’ve been saying that for a while. Perhaps Tether can sell out to the feds fast enough.

Coinbase should substantially lose against the SEC, which has been extremely strong on the separation of securities functions. We expect Coinbase to survive, but in a diminished capacity. Their main hope is that a bitcoin spot ETF will be successful, and they can make a bit of money as a custodian. Otherwise, we don’t see much of a future for them.

Kraken, which the SEC similarly came down on in 2023, will likely have to figure out some new business model. There’s no future for crypto exchanges in the US. The regulators are gunning for the entire business.

We have no idea who’s buying MicroStrategy stock (Nasdaq: MSTR). Michael Saylor’s company is still buying bitcoins! It’s like a bitcoin ETF you can’t cash out of, but even worse than Grayscale’s GBTC. In any sane world, Microstrategy would be broke already.

We doubt the public stink has come off crypto enough for the big guys to pump a fresh bubble into existence by the end of 2024 — but we don’t want to risk underestimating human stupidity here.

The future of AI

Lots of blockchain companies have been pivoting to AI, the new buzzword. The current AI market is an attempt by venture capitalists to pretend that tech is still in a zero-interest world. It just isn’t. The bills are going to come due.

We foresee AI companies getting obliterated with copyright and trademark claims — the obvious consequence of training your models on other people’s work. Some of those people have considerable legal resources.

The dumbest people you know are going to rant against Luddite boomers like yourself for not buying into their nonsense. These people will pivot to another tech at the slightest provocation. Just look at the Twitter posters who pivoted effortlessly from NFTs to AI — and then to superconductors for a few weeks, based on two irreproducible lab reports.

ChatGPT will not turn the world into paper clips. That’s Microsoft’s job.

And in conclusion:

(taps the sign)


It can't be that stupid. You must be explaining it wrong.


Image: Snake eyes dice by Dennis Hill from Wikimedia Commons, CC-by

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5 Comments on “Amy and David’s sure-fire* analyst predictions on crypto for 2024!”

  1. The excellent labor journalist (spelling intentionally american, he has covered the Union movement in the US for 15 years) Hamilton Nolan’s new newsletter talks about EA this week. His take-that Peter Singer’s underlying point is a good one, and that aspirationally the fundamental principles of EA are worth thinking about for all of us–seems on point to me. Choosing to do good for someone homeless on your street with 40 bucks instead of buying some chinese made crap from amazon is a choice that is at the core of EA. that someone from oxford could turn a good idea into a terrible monstrosity is somehow unsurprising but not, i think, peter singer’s fault.

  2. Excellent. As an ex-crypto industry employee and believer who had his eyes opened after a hack of $90k and losing $160k more across FTX/Voyager both… as a young 20-something… I want to see this industry held responsible.

    The only conversation we as a society should be having now re crypto is reparations for their financial crimes against society and forced wealth redistribution from the grifters to the exploited- most of whom are middle class and young people.

    And then or if not… political asylum. These are people who are currently running ads to literal kids telling them this stuff is the future of finance while the top teams with PhDs in the industry get hacked millions daily. New Coinbase ad implies kids should avoid college and a career to instead gamble on crypto.

    What happens when millions of teens get hacked billions of dollars or their parents’ savings and used against US national security interests?

    How should we treat those legitimately trying to topple the financial system, state, and societal order for their own greed and portfolio by shilling this deeply flawed, experimental, anti state tech and brainwashing kids to join their extremist political cult?

    Political asylum is generous, no?

  3. I’ve followed your site, and the crypto-collapse generally, for some time so I was a little surprised by NPR’s piece about the resurgence of Crypto.

    The juxtaposition of a Crypto-booster with a Crypto-skeptic felt like an instance of NPR playing the false-balance game. They cite a long list of good-news and bad-news for crypto, but the impression the listener was left with was one of good-news, I think. This seems to run contrary to what’s actually happening in the world.



    1. I mean, yeah. As I type this, someone did a huge dump at 12:00 UTC 3 Jan precisely, tanking bitcoin by 10%. So it’s all narrative still.

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