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BT Daily News: From prediction to reality – How Bitcoin will win in 2023, and more

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1. From prediction to reality – How Bitcoin will win in 2023

The snowball started in the heat of July with the Celsius bankruptcy, which was the first sign that the ecosystem we were building was not healthy. The fact that we were using a decentralized currency to mirror the centralized financial system did not match the vision for Bitcoin.

This once again highlighted the existence of two alternate and diverging realities for Bitcoin: "real" Bitcoin, which is rising from the bottom up and focuses on the value Bitcoin can bring to the world, and "regulated" Bitcoin, which is focused on price and committed to regulatory systems and adoption through speculation.

On the other hand, real Bitcoin is flourishing in the Global South and post-Soviet regions, where innovation is addressing the narrative that Bitcoin has no good use cases. For instance, a new version of frontier towns is emerging, combining renewable energy, Bitcoin mining, internet connectivity and community custody. As I have long suspected, real Bitcoin adoption can only come from the people, and Fedimint and Fedi seek to be key in achieving hyperbitcoinization. The world will experience the most primitive form of protection — humans united — translated and turbocharged through the highest technology.

In the coming years, communities will play a crucial role in defining the path for Bitcoin. Bitcoiners are already empowering communities around the globe, but it is vital that our global community also stays united to win this battle.

2. Analyst Explains Why Ethereum Is Bullish Against Bitcoin

In total, the ten largest mining companies in the space mined a collective 40.7 BTC this year and sold 40.3 BTC. This means that they roughly dumped the entire supply that they mined in 2022 and in the process, applied constant selling pressure on the network.

Earlier in the year, Ethereum successfully transitioned to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which means the blockchain no longer uses miners for handling transactions, and rather uses stakers (investors that have locked 32 ETH in the PoS contract) to act as validating nodes.

In a Proof-of-Work (PoW) system, miners compete with each other using large amounts of computing power. Therefore, many expenses are involved in getting up their facilities, but one cost, in particular, stays with them as long as they continue to operate: the electricity bills. It is because of these electricity bills that miners have to continuously sell what they mine to keep their business sustainable.

Some miners try to hold onto their reserves for as long as possible, like Marathon, and Hut8 can be seen doing in the chart. Still, in a market like right now, where electricity prices have shot up while the BTC price has plummeted due to the bear, margins are fine for the already debt-ridden public miners, and thus most of them can’t afford to accumulate.

In the case of a PoS chain, however, stakers don’t incur such expenses and thus don’t have any particular need to sell the rewards they earn while staking. This implies that the type of selling pressure that miners put on Bitcoin isn’t present on the Ethereum blockchain.

3. Ten predictions for crypto in 2023

1) Crypto venture capital funding will continue to decline through the first half of 2023, but that is not necessarily a bad thing; rather, it is normalizing to a point that is rational. Investors don’t want to catch a falling knife, so they are waiting for things to bottom out while also weighing broader macroeconomic concerns and the global recession risk. At the same time, new settlement (layer 1s/2s), interoperability (layer 0/bridge), lending and trading protocols will continue to get funded to fill the vacuum resulting from the changes resulting from the recent hacks, treasury shortfalls, regulatory changes and exchange collapses.

2) In 2023, the initial Web3 anarchist ethos that rejected the need for big brands will go away. Participants will finally realize that when there is no outside money from big brands, then all you have is a token whose only value comes from user and speculator dollars. Instead, projects will embrace large brands and the ad, marketing and sponsor dollars they bring so that the dream of Web3 (token representing microequity) can be achieved via divvying up meaningful outside capital among actual users. Web2 brands — such as Nike, Starbucks and Meta — will continue to experiment in Web3, with a continued focus on nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as the preferred format, and with an emphasis on customer acquisition and engagement over monetization.

3) People will realize that the way many have been thinking about community in Web3 is bullshit. “Community” was often simply a lovely word used primarily to describe “a bunch of speculators in a Discord sharing a common dream of rapid wealth who abandon the project once the growth carousel stops moving.” While we’ll continue to see exceptions to the rule — such as strong, engaged decentralized finance communities, as well as online-to-offline decentralized autonomous organizations like LinksDAO — what we’ll realize in 2023 is that the whole Web3 ideal of project/community fit was frequently just project/speculator fit. So, we can’t afford to ignore the fundamentals of actual product/market fit.

4) As Web3 app development costs go down and user acquisition costs go up, there will be an emphasis on quality and discovery. Web3 will have its App Store and AdMob moments, which will help developers and users find each other more efficiently. L1s and wallets will initially compete for this position, but a new player will likely take over. Breakout Web3 apps in 2023 will look more like the top-downloaded and top-grossing apps in the early days of mobile — simple user experience and graphics with intuitive but innovative engagement and monetization mechanisms — like Angry Birds in 2009.

5) The current trend toward “stability” and “sustainability” in games — in some ways resulting from the bumps of Axie Infinity — will spawn a wave of products with built-in stability but that lack the dynamic boom-and-bust nature of most crypto speculation. This will create a flat, muted player experience, which just feels like a copycat version of existing Web2 video games. Over time, game developers will relearn that market speculation is part of the fun and try to incorporate it in healthy, responsible ways.

6) Web3 will continue to offer a solid niche, with apps that are functionally clones of existing businesses, but with some basic blockchain components. These apps will carve out a market niche of users who want that same traditional core product offering but have some affinity for Web3, similar to many early internet companies (such as Amazon as a web bookstore) or mobile companies (such as Robinhood as a mobile stock trader). They will differentiate largely on marketing and experience rather than on core product offering. A few of them will take moonshot bets at truly paradigm-breaking innovation, a la Amazon.

7) To deal with compliance costs and overhead, blockchain apps will increasingly rely on existing, large-capitalization tokens to power token-related mechanisms. Ethereum will continue to delay its roadmap in 2023, but once it does eventually ship sharding to reduce gas fees, alternative L1s will see a big dropoff in interest.

8) Stablecoins will find more use cases outside of crypto capital markets, which will drive more mainstream adoption — primarily among businesses — and innovation within Web3. Governments and private blockchain research and development will continue, with some announcing centralized public infrastructure like central bank digital currencies or marketplace infrastructure.

9) Culture wars around crypto will heat up toward the end of 2023, leading into the United States election cycle. Booms and busts will continue, with accidental hacks (like Wormhole), over-aggressive risk exposure (like Terra) and outright fraud (like SafeMoon). More politicians will take strong stances on crypto. However, the U.S. government will continue to be indecisive on regulation, to the detriment of the domestic industry. Any regulation that does emerge will be patchwork and could still allow risky projects to slip through the cracks.

10) As builders develop through the bear market, there will be a point in 2023 when new growth areas start emerging beyond existing prevailing narratives like NFT profile-picture projects, play-to-earn projects, alternative L1s, etc. The new narratives will propel the next cycle, and hopefully, these fresh frameworks will drive real consumer utility and adoption, bringing in several hundred million new crypto users/wallets.
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