November 2023: Digital Assets Market Update

November 2023: Digital Assets Market Update

08 Dec 2023

7 mins


  • Binance plead guilty to money laundering and settled with the DOJ; leading to the stepdown of Changpeng Zhao as CEO and $4.3 Billion to be paid.
  • Bitcoin and the market as a whole responds well, with price action remaining bullish across the board
  • However, the biggest winners are a handful of previously undervalued alts that have seen significant inflows. Such as, Solana rallying to just less than $70 with ecosystem tokens like BONK increasing 655% on the month.

November has seen a continuation and amplification of the preceding bullish trend across crypto with BTC rallying over 8% and ETH over 12% from open to months close*. Bitcoin spent most of the month straddling the $37k price mark, but still managed to push above $38k on four separate occasions, despite falling back below $35k on the 13th November*. In line with this, Bitcoin's ATM 30 day implied volatility hit its highest level in over 6 months (58.34%) on the 5th; despite retracing towards the mid 40s towards the end of the month it appears that higher levels of volatility are here to stay, and that perhaps we are finally clear of the volatility doldrums experienced across the year so far^. 




The main event of November was a pivotal one for the crypto industry; one that many had foreseen as having the ability to break the industry just a few years ago. On 21st November Binance pleaded guilty to money laundering charges, acknowledging that the platform was used to circumvent international sanctions; resulting in $4.3 billion in fines and the resignation of their CEO Changpeng Zhao. Rather than pandemonium and a collapse in liquidity, Bitcoin fell only 2.23% on the day and another 3% or so the next morning before quickly recovering back above $37k just one day later*. The company's regional head of markets, Richard Teng, was appointed CEO on the announcement of the settlement and the market has responded positively since, with JPMorgan noting that this will have a long-term stabilising effect on the wider industry. While the penalties levied were high, most consider this to be a warning from the DOJ to other crypto exchanges; making it clear that even without digital asset specific regulations, activity that looks to skirt the spirit of regulation will be severely punished. 

While November has been a positive month for majors, the most exciting price movement has been across some of the alts and memecoins, with many of them pushing into new territories and moving to all-time highs. Solana has been the token and ecosystem that has seen the most attention and dramatic recovery since the depths of the bear market, where it fell from $260 per token to just $8 in December of last year*... Solana suffered major declines due to its close ties with FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried; who were early VC's that helped bootstrap the network and turn founder Anatoly Yakovenko's vision into a reality. Since June, Solana has returned over 500%, trading around $60 at close of month and has gone from being viewed as an alt L1 that is dead in the water to one of the most exciting narrative and ecosystem plays of the upcoming cycle. 

Though many probably won’t want to admit it now, nine months to a year ago Solana had been written off as a result of the reputational damage from its association with the failed FTX exchange and its founder, as well as numerous network outages across 2022 (something that is not meant to happen with a decentralised, permissionless blockchain). The Solana team has worked hard in recent times to further decentralise the network and validate the perception of Solana as a faster, cheaper and higher throughput alternative for the settlement of digital assets. Consequently, a number of its ecosystem tokens have seen even more dramatic price increases, with the largest memecoin, BONK continuing to hit all time highs, increasing 655% from the start to the high of this month+… 




Zooming out a bit, the overall trend of the month makes sense in light of the Fed holding interest rates for the time being, with some market onlookers even forecasting interest rate cuts later in the new year. As the macro environment seems to be stabilising on the view of higher rates for longer, funds are finally beginning to flow back into cryptoassets in a meaningful capacity. Factor in the probability of a Bitcoin spot ETF approval in the US in January and it's no surprise that the market for Bitcoin has remained bid. Following on from this, it makes sense that previously high valued alt's that have been battered over the last two years or so are finally seeing consistent buying demand, as many investors look to position themselves ahead of potentially major catalysts for Bitcoin in 2024. 


As always please send any feedback, suggestions or comments to the Team mailbox. 

Best Oliver Wink, on behalf of the Digital Assets team. 


*Data sourced from Bloomberg  
^Data sourced from The Block 

+Data sourced from Trading View