Welcome to Bitstamp’s December Monthly Briefing! Each month, we select and detail key developments in the cryptocurrency world, providing you with both insights and a preview of what lies ahead. In the month in which the crypto market cap gained a remarkable 15.3%, we are spotlighting the standout performances of specific assets, and taking a look at some of the biggest stories and events of the past year.Ready to delve in?Monthly recap: December 2023The total crypto market cap increased by 15.3% month-over-month, reaching $1.61 trillion at the end of December. Trading volume on the leading crypto spot exchanges we monitor also saw a 34% increase during this period.BTC's market dominance dropped by 1.4 percentage points month-over-month to 51.6%.Total crypto market cap (grey) and BTC dominance (green)Source: Total crypto market cap Bitcoin dominanceTop 3 performing CMC 100 assets in 2023+ 10,150% BONK (BONK)+ 2,704% Injective (INJ)+ 1,994% Kaspa (KAS)Best performing CMC 100 assets in December+ 281.6% ORDI (ORDI) - price surged due to bullish sentiment around BRC tokens+ 243.2% BONK (BONK) - new listings and association with SOL increased the price+ 191.2% Internet Computer (ICP) - the price experienced a bullish pennant breakoutWorst performing CMC 100 assets in December- 25.7% FTX Token (FTT) - the price experienced repeated rejections at $5 level- 20.0% THORChain (RUNE) - the price faced rejection at $7 level- 12.7% Kaspa (KAS) - the price failed to breach the resistance at $14.5 levelKey macro & crypto events in January 2024January 10-11: METAVSUMMITJanuary 11: US Consumer Price Index dataJanuary 10-12: CfC St. MoritzJanuary 15-18: Web3 Hub DavosJanuary 15-19: World Crypto ForumJanuary 19: EU Consumer Price Index dataJanuary 25: ECB interest rate decisionJanuary 31: Fed interest rate decisionOur year in review of the biggest stories or events Bitcoin ETF market sizing from our October’s Monthly BriefingIn October, we wrote about the first signs of a US Bitcoin spot ETF approval, which boosted the crypto market. The ETF approval remains one of the most anticipated events in crypto for 2024 according to some analysts. Galaxy Research highlights that a US Bitcoin spot ETF could enhance accessibility for various wealth segments and increase legitimacy through recognition from regulators and financial service providers and estimates a $14 billion initial inflow in the ETF products in the first year.Understanding Bitcoin's halving cycle with Coin Metrics In 2009, Bitcoin introduced a decentralized digital currency operated by unchanging code. Bitcoin's fixed supply of 21m units and controlled issuance countered conventional approaches. Central to its monetary strategy is the 'halving' concept. This report delves into halvings, their impact, and current data as Bitcoin approaches its 4th halving next year.Evaluating blockchain’s mass adoption potential with Jump Crypto The article delves into the challenges and opportunities associated with investing in early-stage venture capital and crypto. It introduces a framework called "Pueyo Maps" to assess if blockchain-based solutions are a good fit for different regions. The author discusses the current state of blockchain adoption, with Latin America and Southeast Asia being hotspots, and emphasizes that local factors and market quirks play an important role in adoption.The seventh bull cycle by Pantera Capital In 2023, crypto companies prioritized following the rules. Although crypto aims for complete decentralization to minimize and eradicate opportunities for manipulation by bad actors, this goal is not fully attainable in the short term. Therefore, centralized players will continue to play a significant role in supporting and growing the crypto ecosystem. As trust is rebuilt, CeFi companies will differentiate themselves as front ends to DeFi.Why investors need to consider Bitcoin separately from other digital assets by Fidelity In this paper, the authors argue why Bitcoin is fundamentally different from other digital assets and why it can serve as an entry point for traditional allocators looking to gain exposure to digital assets.Why it's great to be an investor now by Justin Carbonneau Investors in 2023 benefited from reduced costs in trading fees, technological advancements enabling fractional share purchases and T+1 settlement, and a wealth of tools offering professional-grade analytics. The emergence of new asset classes like cryptocurrencies and the proliferation of investment-related content through blogs, podcasts, and social platforms have further empowered investors with more choices and resources to enhance their investment decision-making and education.No information in this blog is intended to provide any personal investment services or advice nor is it an investment recommendation. Clients are responsible for making their own investment decisions. Bitstamp accepts no responsibility for any damage and/or loss arising from the use of information provided herein. Past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future results. Please consider your individual position and financial goals before making an independent investment decision.Bitstamp is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. 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