April 2024 Market Recap: Bitcoin Halving, Geopolitical Volatility, and Regulatory Reckoning


April proved to be a pivotal month in the cryptocurrency world, marked by major milestones, product launches, and governance shifts. The long-awaited Bitcoin halving event ushered in a new era of scarcity, while Hong Kong staked its claim as a crypto hub by approving ETFs tied to both Bitcoin and Ether. The burgeoning Solana ecosystem experienced growing pains from overwhelming usage, necessitating network upgrades. Amidst the volatility and technological developments, decentralized governance processes illustrated the power of community influence. Institutional adoption continued with ETF filings in Australia, even as regulatory scrutiny intensified with Binance’s former CEO receiving a prison sentence. 

Bitcoin Halving 

  • The Bitcoin halving event occurred on April 20th, reducing the mining reward from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block mined. This quadrennial event makes Bitcoin more scarce over time.
  • Ahead of the halving, Bitcoin twice reached a new all-time high price of $73,000 but experienced volatility, retracting back to around $60,000.
  • Inflows into spot Bitcoin ETFs continued, capturing over $12 billion since launch.

Israel / Iran Geopolitical Tensions

  • On April 19th, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum fell sharply amid reports of an Israeli missile strike on Iran.
  • Bitcoin briefly dropped below $60,000, declining over 5.5% to around $59,961 as the U.S. dollar strengthened broadly.
  • The sell-off in cryptocurrencies and shift to safe-havens like the U.S. dollar was triggered by news of Israel launching an attack on Iranian soil, though details were initially unclear.
  • The crypto declines came just hours ahead of bitcoin’s scheduled “halving” event on the same day, which reduced the rate of new bitcoin creation.

Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong

  • At the end of April, six new Bitcoin and Ether ETFs launched in Hong Kong, disappointing with only around $10 million in trading volumes versus $100 million expected.
  • Hong Kong became one of the first places in the world to approve an Ether ETF.
  • Australian asset manager Monochrome applied to launch a Bitcoin spot ETF on the ASX, allowing easier Bitcoin exposure for traditional investors.

Solana Network Congestion

  • The Solana ecosystem exploded with activity, but the network faced severe congestion issues for around a week due to organic usage and bot transaction spam.
  • This led to widespread failed transactions and network outages, flooding projects like the popular meme coin AI trust with complaints.
  • Within 7 days, the Solana team released patches and upgrades to resolve the bottlenecks, restoring smooth operation.
  • Despite issues, Solana dominated DEX trading in March with $60.3 billion in volume, surpassing Ethereum.

CZ Sentenced to Prison

  • Overnight on April 30th, former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao was sentenced to 4 months in prison in the U.S. after pleading guilty to charges of facilitating money laundering via the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.