With days left, analysts hold out hope for new crypto highs in 2023 

Cryptos posted gains while equities faltered Wednesday, but both are poised to end 2023 well into the green

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Artwork by Crystal Le

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Bitcoin breached $44,000 on Wednesday as traders continue to bet that a bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund will hit the market in 2024. 

Bitcoin (BTC) had posted a mild correction earlier this month, which traders chalked up to an expected dip after an explosive rally. Bitcoin has gained more than 63% since mid-October. 

Ether has followed a similar pattern during the final quarter of the year, gaining more than 45% in the same timeframe. Ether (ETH) was trading mostly flat at time of publication, hovering around $2,180 after hitting a high of $2,262 earlier Wednesday. 

With 11 days to go before New Year’s, analysts have not given up hope that bitcoin could break a new 2023 record — especially given the general optimism in markets across the board. 

Read more: New Bitwise ad reflects expected bitcoin ETF marketing blitz

“The market expects spot ETFs approval at the beginning of January, and overall financial markets seem very bullish with the domination of buyers,” said Ruslan Lienkha, chief of markets at crypto lender and exchange YouHodler. “There is a clear rally in the US bond market; stock indices are also gaining; S&P 500 is at its yearly high; the gold price is close to its historical maximum; and European stocks are also in the positive zone.”

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes are also poised to end 2023 well into the green, currently sitting about 23% and 45% higher year to date, respectively. 

Equities on the whole did dip Wednesday, with the S&P 500 losing around 1.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.8%, marking its first decline in 10 trading days. Nasdaq Composite dropped as much as 1.5%. 

The dip comes after a widespread rally across the market, which analysts say was primarily driven by positive Federal Reserve speak and expectations of rate cuts in 2024, so traders have likely been cashing in on profits this week. In order for equities to post another up year in 2024, some conditions will have to be met, Nicholas Colas, founder of DataTrek Research, said. 

“Another +20% year for the S&P 500 can definitely occur, but it requires that everything go exactly right,” Colas said. “The US/global economy cannot stumble, and nor can corporate earnings. Interest rates must continue to decline.” 

As 2023 nears its close, analysts are putting forward their price predictions for 2024, and some are sky-high. 

Standard Chartered Bank last month called for bitcoin to hit $100,000 by the end of 2024. Pantera Capital says the crypto could hit $148,000 after the next halving, which is expected to occur in April 2024.


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