These crypto influencers got their 2023 predictions totally wrong

At the turn of every year, crypto celebrities announce outrageous predictions for the upcoming twelve months. Bullish bitcoin prices are always the most common forecasts — but in 2023, influencers expanded into a variety of predictions ranging from the ‘flippening’ to Gary Gensler’s dismissal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

An embarrassing number of these attempts at precognition never came true. Yet, the influencers who made them never held themselves accountable.

Below, we take a look at some of 2023’s crypto predictions that entirely missed the mark.

Failed prediction #1: Bitcoin didn’t hit $175,000

Bitcoin’s impressive price rise over the past few months indicates that investors are confident things will improve. BTC has soared from $27,000 to $43,000 in the past three months — a 60% pump. On January 2 and 3, 2024, the price of bitcoin surpassed $45,000 for the first time in two years.

However, during the entirety of 2023, bitcoin never exceeded $44,800 — 35% below its all-time high of $69,000.

Bitcoin certainly never got close to $175,000 in 2023, as Defitology predicted in August 2022. It didn’t even regain its $69,000 high, as Race Capital predicted.

Failed prediction #2: Bitcoin didn’t collapse, either

Entrepreneur Nick Huber made a series of financial predictions, including that bitcoin would drop by 50% during 2023. Celebrity bears like il Capo similarly forecasted that bitcoin would crash to $12,000 last year.

Instead, bitcoin rallied all year.

My First Million podcaster Shaan Puri even predicted bitcoin would get down to $11,000. Some even said that it would go below $1,000.

Only, Bitcoin started 2023 at $16,530 and ended the year at $42,250 — a respectable rise.

Failed prediction #3: More countries didn’t adopt bitcoin

Since El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender years ago, many crypto celebrities predicted that 2023 would finally be the year for more countries to follow suit. It wasn’t.

Of course, the Central African Republic briefly announced a similar law in April 2022, but backpedaled soon after.

Master Ventures Capital CIO Tom Dunleavy was among those who predicted that at least one G20 nation, such as Argentina, would buy bitcoin as reserves for its central bank. As 2023 wound down, he admitted that prediction was one of a few “complete whiffs.”

Failed prediction #4: The flippening didn’t happen

The flippening refers to a hypothetical time in the future when the market capitalization of ether would exceed the market capitalization of bitcoin.

Some crypto influencers like Rea.eth hoped that the flippening would occur during 2023. It didn’t.

To this day, Bitcoin remains more than three times larger than Ethereum.

Failed prediction #5: Application-specific blockchains didn’t become mainstream

In August 2022, tech influencer Alex Valaitus posted about Cosmos (ATOM) and its application-specific blockchains in a tweet thread, suggesting that they could be a better way to improve performance. 

However, on December 27, 2023, he admitted that application-specific blockchains didn’t become mainstream as quickly as he had hoped.

Failed prediction #6: Web3 didn’t win

Crypto influencer Alex Zhang predicted that 2023 would see “more meaningful web3 social platforms and protocols.” Other influencers predicted that web3 apps would enjoy substantial progress and broadly decentralize.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey disagreed. Indeed, most web3 properties didn’t gain much ground in 2023 relative to other crypto sectors. Web3 games had a particularly bad year.

Read more: Web3 is the future of the internet — and a16z’s exit liquidity

Failed prediction #7: Gary Gensler still chairs the SEC

Alex Valaitus also predicted that regulation would be a “nothing burger” in 2023. He claimed Gary Gensler would be removed from his role as chair of the SEC. To the contrary, the US government gained the largest-ever fine on a crypto exchange, extracting a whopping $4.3 billion settlement from Binance and forcing Changpeng Zhao (CZ) to step down as CEO.

The SEC also scored a partial victory in the Ripple case, gaining Judge Analisa Torres’ ruling that Ripple sold XRP as unregistered securities to certain institutional buyers.

However, the commission didn’t get everything it wanted. Torres also ruled that programmatic sales of XRP didn’t necessarily qualify as buyers knowingly entering an investment contract. 

Crypto influencers who predicted the downfall of Gensler during 2023 also whiffed. Despite a judge scolding the SEC for making “false and misleading” statements in a small lawsuit regarding Debt Box, and another judge ruling that the SEC failed to coherently explain its position when it rejected Grayscale’s application to convert GBTC into a bitcoin spot ETF, Gensler is still the top commissioner of the SEC.

Failed prediction #8: Cosmos didn’t reach the top 10

Tom Dunleavy predicted that Cosmos would join the ranks of the world’s top 10 largest digital assets. He wanted the Cosmos team to release 2.0, resolve problems with tokenomics, and encourage inflows into Cosmos’ Total Value Locked (TVL).

However, none of these dreams came true during 2023.

Failed prediction #9: TradFi is still traditional finance

Much to the dismay of crypto pundits, digital assets failed to supplant traditional finance (TradFi) last year.

At press time, less than $2 trillion of the world’s $454 trillion involves crypto.

Failed prediction #10: GBTC hasn’t converted into an ETF

Corey Bates predicted the conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF during 2023. It still could happen sometime soon. However, it didn’t happen in 2023.

Read more: Barry Silbert’s Grayscale wants GBTC to commingle bitcoin ‘from time to time’

Failed prediction #11: Fast food restaurants didn’t accept bitcoin

Cory Bates also predicted that fast food chains, specifically Wendy’s and Chipotle, would accept bitcoin as a form of payment. He thought thousands of vendors would integrate the Lightning Network. However, that didn’t quite happen.

Failed prediction #12: Twitter didn’t integrate Dogecoin

Many Dogecoin holders thought that X (formerly Twitter) would unveil its Dogecoin integration during 2023. Elon Musk delayed that announcement.

X gained a handful of state-level payment processor licenses during 2023, but it didn’t roll out its native digital asset payment processing app as Cory Bates predicted.

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