Leaders of the year

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04.01.2024
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2023 was a successful year for some stocks and cryptocurrencies. Macroeconomic problems did not prevent market participants from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This positive outlook is related to the upcoming monetary policy easing. Also, inflation in the US, although it has not returned to the target of 2%, is showing a steady decline. The markets are experiencing irrational optimism, which is putting pressure on prices right now.

Crypto market

Cryptocurrencies ended the year with good growth. The market capitalization grew by more than 100%, and some coins even more. The optimism is related to spot BTC-ETFs. The epic ETF approval process gave investors faith in growth and provided speculators with the necessary liquidity and volatility. This ultimately gave the necessary fundamental impetus to digital assets.

In early 2024, we expect ETFs to be approved, the halving of the BTC in April, and monetary policy easing that will reduce the cost of fiat currency.

Bitcoin

It is worth starting with the “crypto blue chips”. For BTC, last year ended with 9 months of growth and 3 months of decline. This happened only in 2017, which indicates a heyday for the first crypto. The peak month was January, up 39.6%, and the worst month was August, down 11.2%. Over the year, the HTS grew by 158.4%. The lion’s share of the annual growth of the crypto market was provided by the first cryptocurrency. Most altcoins were on Bitcoin’s heels.

Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin’s brainchild showed excellent growth in 2023. At the beginning of 2023, another update, Shapella, was released. After that, users could withdraw their assets from staking. Fears that this would put the ETH rate under strong pressure did not materialize. Users did not withdraw coins in large volumes.

Despite the problems with validators and a decline in the percentage yield of staking, the ETH rate increased by 88.2%. In 2024, we expect a Dencun hard fork that will reduce the amount of commissions for L2 solutions based on Rollups technology and much more.

Solana

Solana was the headliner of the last quarter of 2023. After the FTX crash, few people believed in this coin. Since the exchange had an exorbitant amount of SOL on its balance sheets. And in case of bankruptcy, a legal entity is obliged to sell its assets to pay off creditors. However, the market did not just “eat” this volume with pleasure, it was not enough. Therefore, the demand for the coin grew exponentially — at one point, SOL’s trading volume was higher than that of BTC. In 2023, Solana grew by 1015%! And the main growth began in mid-October.

The stock market

The stock market dynamics also pleased many investors. For example, last year was the best for the Nasdaq 100 since 1999.

AI and products related to this technology made the main noise in the market. Last year, the energy sector was the headliner of growth. And so it happened: market variables changed, and the tech sector (which closed the bottom three in 2022) topped the list of the best industries in 2023.

NVIDIA

NVIDIA became the undisputed leader in the stock market. Thanks to revolutionary developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and beyond, the company has beaten all forecasts for profit and profitability with each publication of reports. Investors appreciated this performance, and the shares grew by 234%, joining the elite list of trillionaires.

Microsoft

Microsoft is also keeping up with NVDA in terms of AI development, and in some aspects, it is ahead of the company. Its shares rose by 54%. This is several times less than NVDA’s, but Microsoft is already a huge company with a capitalization of $2.7 trillion and more than 220,000 employees. Why is it interesting? More and more market participants are confident that Microsoft will knock Apple off the pedestal of the most expensive public company in the world. The crowd loves stories when a new leader emerges.

Netflix

This company deserves the title of the year’s Comeback of the Year. After falling by more than 60% in 2022, only the lazy did not bury Netflix. But the streaming service not only stayed afloat, it rubbed the nose in all critics. In 2023, the company did not publish a single failed report. In the 1st half of the year, there were problems with revenue, but starting from the 3rd quarter, revenues were higher than expected. As a result, the shares grew by 64% over the year.

Conclusion

The beginning of 2023 gave traders and investors a lot of emotions, losses, and profits. The inflationary shock and tightening of monetary policy hit high-risk assets hard, as investors prefer to transfer capital to “safe” assets in difficult times.

However, in the 2nd half of the year, the markets managed to recover from the downturn and continue their growth. Some analysts are already noting the beginning of the formation of “irrational optimism,” but it is too early to say.

It is safe to say that the crypto winter is over for cryptocurrencies.

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