Special Report: After a somewhat difficult year for crypto in 2023, Kraken looks to the future to ponder what the landscape’s starting to look like for the year ahead.

As dust settles on Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction, marking the end of a wild chapter in crypto’s history, the community can once again look ahead with a sense of optimism.

The collapse of FTX and others will soon become mere footnotes in a larger, more compelling narrative: the world being built on the robust foundation of crypto technology.

This festive season, the crypto community has ample reasons for cheer. Contrary to the binary perception of bull and bear markets, the crypto landscape is far more nuanced, brimming with innovation even in periods of apparent stagnation.

This year, as well as the last, was not spent treading water, but instead developers have been focussed on building game changing protocols and applications that  will become recognised by the masses in the years ahead.

For this reason, protocol milestones have more importance. For example,the two largest crypto assets by market cap are fast approaching key updates in early 2024: Bitcoin’s next halving and Ethereum’s ‘Dencun’ upgrade.


Exciting times ahead

The upcoming major events are poised to drive increased adoption, by both retail and institutional investors, as well as enthusiasm in the broader ecosystem thanks to the growing institutional interest in cryptoassets, which is often overlooked.

Beyond the buzz around various BTC and ETH ETF filings in the US, we’ve witnessed a resurgence of interest from institutional clients eager to seek exposure to this vibrant asset class.

The team at Kraken fully expects this trend to accelerate into the new year, fueled by the advent of real-world applications of crypto technologies and improvements in custody solutions for institutional clients to utilise.

However, with a bullish market comes the inevitable rise in fraudulent activities. Investors must learn from past cycles, staying alert to potential scams and rigorously vetting their crypto counterparties.

As part of this vigilance, understanding the importance of personal security hygiene remains crucial. Scammers will likely revisit old tactics, including fake airdrops, malicious smart contracts, and I anticipate fake ETF products once approved, to exploit unsuspecting victims.

To counter this, educational resources, such as Kraken’s Learn centre  content, can be invaluable for investor awareness and safety.


Lessons learned for what lies ahead

The concept of a ‘crypto spring’ just on the horizon is an incredibly exciting one. But it can be easily spoiled if we allow it to be so. We, as a crypto community, must act on the lessons from the last cycle.

Our industry is still nascent when compared to many other assets and technologies, which means that many digital assets are poorly understood, even by those interacting with them.

This is something that needs to change: Investors should thoroughly understand their reasons behind investing in each digital asset.

Aligning your crypto portfolio with your personal investment goals, just as you would with traditional equities is something we will all benefit from in the long run.

Kraken itself has been diligently preparing for the next phase of growth. Like the rest of the crypto industry, we’ve spent the crypto winter focused on enhancing our products and services, as well as investing in compliance, regulatory operations and above all else, our security.

Key updates to our Kraken Pro app and backend improvements for improved trading experiences underscore our commitment to our clients across the spectrum – from keeping individual investors safe through to helping the most sophisticated stay ahead of the curve.

As 2024 dawns, the crypto world is looking forward to an end of crypto winter. This Christmas, the crypto community has every reason to celebrate, with eyes set on a promising and prosperous year ahead.


This article was developed in collaboration with Kraken, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.