Bitcoin hits Wall Street: A recap of a critical six months for crypto markets and what what could lie ahead the rest of the year

2024 has been a pivotal year for the cryptocurrency market, with Bitcoin surging more than 46% in the first half, outpacing the S&P 500’s 15% rise. The approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission marked a significant milestone, attracting substantial institutional investment. Additionally, Bitcoin underwent its fourth halving, a key event that typically influences its price dynamics every four years.

Looking ahead, the market faces disruption from Mt. Gox, which announced plans to distribute over $9 billion to creditors starting in early July. This development caused Bitcoin’s price to briefly dip below $55,000.

Despite short-term challenges, optimism prevails among market participants about Bitcoin’s long-term prospects. Here’s a snapshot of major events in 2024 so far and what lies ahead:

Bitcoin ETFs Debut: The SEC’s approval of the first Bitcoin ETFs on January 10 led to their launch on Wall Street the following day. These ETFs have collectively attracted $14.64 billion in net inflows and facilitated over $310 billion in trading volume. The increased institutional adoption and positive regulatory environment pushed Bitcoin to new all-time highs earlier this year, peaking at $73,794 on March 14.

Bitcoin Halving and Market Dynamics: April saw Bitcoin’s fourth halving, anticipated to drive prices higher in the months following, though market dynamics have delayed a sustained rally. Developments such as the launch of Runes in April, a decentralized protocol enabling fungible token creation on Bitcoin, have enhanced Bitcoin’s functionality and transaction demand.

Ethereum’s Developments: Ethereum also saw significant developments, including the DenCun upgrade in March, reducing transaction costs on its Layer 2 networks. The SEC’s approval of eight spot Ethereum ETFs on May 23 paves the way for potential trading to commence soon.

Stablecoin Market Expansion: Amid market volatility, the stablecoin market continued to grow. Circle’s USDC market capitalization surpassed $60 billion, while Tether maintained its leading position with over $80 billion in circulation, reinforcing stablecoins’ role as safe-haven assets.

As the year progresses, these milestones and developments will shape the trajectory of cryptocurrencies, highlighting both challenges and opportunities in the evolving digital asset landscape.