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Web3: The Future of Bitcoin

With a Bitcoin ETF resolution on the horizon, an Ethernet Cancun upgrade set to be activated, and a halving of Bitcoin's quadrennial block incentive looming, the Web3 industry will be kicked off in 2024 by these three events.

The approval of the Bitcoin ETF will provide new safeguards for the liquidity and investment convenience of Bitcoin, thereby attracting more investors to the Bitcoin market. The upgrade of EtherCancun will significantly increase EtherCancun's scaling capacity, thus providing a stronger underlying infrastructure for the development of Web3 applications. The halving of Bitcoin will result in a reduction in the supply of Bitcoin, which will theoretically drive up its price.

The industry predicts that these three events will be the key nodes for the crypto asset market to turn from bear to bull.

On December 29, 2023, Reuters dropped the bombshell news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may tell applicants on January 2 or January 3 (U.S. time) whether or not they are permitted to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF (Bitcoin exchange-traded fund), which would give the applicants time to prepare for the January 10 launch.

To date, 13 issuers have filed with the SEC for spot Bitcoin ETFs, including Grayscale, BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, ARK+21Shares and Bitwise, which intend to offer spot Bitcoin ETFs on exchanges such as the NASDAQ, the Chicago Board Options Exchange BZX and the New York Stock Exchange Arca.

On December 29, several companies filed amendments; and on December 21, several applicants participated in a rare joint conference call with the SEC.

On January 10th at the most, the SEC will have to respond to an application for a spot Bitcoin ETF. The industry generally believes that the ETF is very likely to be approved.

Investment research firm Fundstrat predicts that the price of Bitcoin will jump more than five-fold from current levels to more than US$150,000 and as high as US$180,000 once the Bitcoin Spot ETF is approved. More than $2.4 billion is expected to flow into the newly approved U.S.-based Bitcoin spot ETF market in the first quarter of 2024.

For a long time, in the fierce competition with other blockchains, Ether has not been in a dominant position. Its design is relatively complex, and upgrades require long lead times. It lacks an asset-based advantage over Bitcoin, and its network is prone to congestion due to unexpected hotspot applications, resulting in transaction delays and high costs, while its scalability is limited compared to competitor chains.

However, the Cancun upgrade, predicted for the first quarter of this year, will bring a huge performance boost to the Ethernet network. By introducing sharding, the Cancun upgrade will enable the Ethernet network to process multiple shards simultaneously, which will dramatically increase transaction throughput. This will enable the Ethernet network to meet growing user demand while supporting more decentralized applications and transactions. In addition, the Cancun upgrade will reduce transaction fees on the Ethernet network.

Ether co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently shared an updated roadmap that demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.

One of the key updates includes the implementation of Single-Slot Finality (SSF) in the post-merger Proof of Stake (PoS) improvements, which is expected to address many of the shortcomings of Ethernet's current PoS design, enabling faster and more secure transactions.

Developers have also made significant progress in other areas such as Surge, including EIP-4844 and rollups. These improvements enhance the scalability and efficiency of Ethernet, which is critical to its long-term success.

Buterin's roadmap also addresses the challenge of economic centralization in PoS through initiatives such as Scourge. The redesign focuses on resolving the maximum extractable value (MEV) and general pooling of interests, which are critical to maintaining the integrity and decentralization of the network.

Analysts are optimistic about the future of ethereum, with some predicting that the price of ethereum is expected to reach $5,000 or more after the Cancun upgrade, and that Layer 2 will dominate the ethereum ecosystem, with decentralized applications on every chain receiving significant progress in the underlying layers.

April 2024 is expected to mark the halving of Bitcoin block incentives, a cycle that will further reduce the supply of Bitcoin and theoretically drive up its price.

The Bitcoin Halving is an established event where the reward for blocks where new Bitcoins are mined is halved. Initially (2012) the reward was 50 BTC, in 2016 it was reduced to 25 BTC, and in 2020 it was reduced to 12.5 BTC. the next halving is expected to occur in April 2024, when the reward for digging will be reduced to 6.25 BTC per block.

This year, the Ordinals protocol has led to a new trend in the Bitcoin ecosystem, which is gradually changing the face of Bitcoin. In particular, the new Bitcoin motto experiments based on the Ordinals protocol are beginning to introduce some new variables to the Bitcoin, which has been developing towards the attribute of "payment currency" for more than a decade, and is even beginning to show the first beginnings of an ethereum-like ecosystem.

The Bitcoin network has not only seen the emergence of NFTs, but also the ability to issue homogenized token assets through protocols. At the same time, however, controversy over "innovations" such as BRC20 continues to generate heated debate. In the wake of this, the emergence and development of the Bitcoin Layer2 network has the potential to alleviate the pressure on the main Bitcoin network caused by the issuance of new types of assets.

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