Changpeng Zhao’s resignation and guilty plea, Sam Bankman-Fried awaiting sentencing for financial crimes, tough measures from regulators — despite these challenging events, the crypto industry remains unbroken. On the contrary, 2023 has been a year of ascent for Bitcoin. Starting at $16,600, Bitcoin’s price approached the yearly high of $45,000 by December 11, concluding the year with a growth of approximately 156% as of December 27.

In this article, we want to look back at the important events that happened in the crypto market over the past year.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse

This event was equally significant for the cryptocurrency market, as the bank’s services were utilized by major players, and it was considered supportive of companies dealing with crypto assets.

In the early spring, the American bank Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), ranking among the top 20 largest banks in the U.S., declared bankruptcy.

As a result, the financial collapse prompted American investors to turn to BTC amid diminishing trust in the banking sector, solidifying Bitcoin’s price around $27,000.

Ripple vs. SEC

The legal battle between the SEC and Ripple Labs marked a notable victory for the cryptocurrency market in its regulatory struggle. The legal proceedings between Ripple and the regulatory authority persisted for several years. In December 2020, the SEC accused Ripple of selling unregistered securities (qualifying the XRP token as a security) amounting to $1.3 billion.

unnamed 1 1 - What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger: Reflections on the Crypto Year

In July of this year, a U.S. court ruled that Ripple’s sale of its XRP token on public exchanges did not violate federal securities laws.

Despite the fact that large investors buying XRP directly from Ripple fall under SEC supervision, this case represented a major legal victory for a cryptocurrency company against the SEC.

Later, the Securities and Exchange Commission withdrew its lawsuit against Ripple Labs’ CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen. However, charges against the company itself remain, and the regulator will continue to consider the claims. The Ripple case is scheduled for April 23, 2024.

Nevertheless, the outcome of the Ripple case has significant implications for the SEC’s enforcement actions against cryptocurrency exchanges and intermediaries, making it a pivotal event of the reporting year.

U.S. vs. Binance

The departing year marked a turning point in the relationship between the crypto industry and regulators. A serious blow to the crypto industry came when the Department of Justice filed charges against the largest exchange, Binance, and its top executive for violating U.S. money laundering laws and economic sanctions.

Later, in November, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with Binance, concluding a criminal investigation, making it one of the largest corporate agreements in U.S. history. The fines amounted to $4.3 billion, and criminal charges were brought against CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Changpeng Zhao Steps Down as CEO

As part of the deal with the Department of Justice, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) resigned from his position, also admitting guilt and paying a $50 million fine with a potential 18-month prison term.

Richard Teng has been appointed as the new CEO. The sentencing is scheduled for February 2024, and until the hearings, he must remain in the United States.

FTX Legal Process

The entire crypto community has been closely monitoring this legal process. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, appeared in court after the company’s bankruptcy in November 2022.

Prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of improperly using client funds for various purposes unrelated to FTX’s activities, including risky investments, real estate purchases, and political campaigns.

In 2023, Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all charges, including fraud, embezzlement, and criminal conspiracy, following a month-long trial and over four hours of jury deliberation. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the most serious charges. The sentencing is expected in March 2024.

The outcome of this legal proceeding, occurring almost a year after FTX’s bankruptcy, underscores the importance of strict oversight and ethical governance in the cryptocurrency space, setting a precedent for how such cases may be handled in the future.

Anticipation of a Bitcoin ETF

In June, the price of BTC surpassed $30,000 for the first time in a long while. Part of the impetus for this surge was a significant event in the U.S. investment market. BlackRock applied to launch the iShares Bitcoin Trust – a spot Bitcoin ETF. Other major firms followed suit. Some applications were rejected by the regulator (SEC), while others are still under consideration.

As of December 2023, companies such as Valkyrie, BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, ARK Investments, Grayscale, WisdomTree, Invesco, and others are awaiting SEC approvals. Bitcoin ETF issuers have also met with commission representatives to clarify details and amend applications. The regulator’s decisions on approval, rejection, or postponement of decisions on Bitcoin ETF applications are set for mid-January.

image 73 1024x538 - What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger: Reflections on the Crypto Year
Source: CoinGecko

Historically, the SEC has been skeptical of spot Bitcoin ETFs, citing concerns about market manipulation and the need for adequate investor protection. However, a favorable decision for Grayscale’s application by the U.S. Appeals Court in 2023, deeming the SEC’s rejection unjustified, has increased optimism regarding potential approval.

It is expected that the approval of a Bitcoin ETF will open doors for a broader range of investors, including retail and institutional players.


These were some of the key events that influenced the cryptocurrency market this year. It seems that after the crypto-winter, there is hope on the horizon, amplified by expectations of the halving and approval of spot ETFs. So, prepare your bots to seize all market opportunities in 2024.


What happened in crypto 2023?

After a rough 2022, bitcoin and crypto-related stocks bounced back in 2023. Notable events include Changpeng Zhao’s resignation and guilty plea, Sam Bankman-Fried awaiting sentencing for financial crimes, and Ripple achieving a partial victory against the SEC.

Will 2024 be a good year for Bitcoin?

Bitcoin’s future in 2024 is a big topic everyone’s talking about. A few things, including halving, spot BTC ETF approval will likely affect Bitcoin’s price.