The crypto market moves fast. As a beginner, it can be hard to keep up with the latest news and separate the signal from the noise. This comprehensive guide breaks down the top crypto news stories so far in 2023—covering major market trends, protocol changes, regulatory developments, and predictions on what could come next.
Whether you’re just getting started or looking to expand your knowledge, read on for the crypto news highlights all beginners should know.
The crypto market in 2023 is defined by increased adoption from institutions on one hand, and extreme volatility on the other. Here are the major themes so far:
Institutional investment continues growing – Major banks like Goldman Sachs and corporations like Blackrock are offering crypto services and making big bets on blockchain technology for payments, contracts, and more. Crypto is going mainstream.
Bear market volatility persists – After crypto market cap plummeted in 2022, prices remain depressed in 2023 even while adoption grows. Don’t expect a smooth ride—wild swings up and down are likely to continue.
Regulation ramps up globally – Governments around the world are developing new legislation on how cryptocurrencies should operate and be taxed. While seen as a positive for mainstream adoption long-term, regulation does add uncertainty in the short term.
DeFi hacks raise security questions – Several major DeFi protocols were hacked in 2022, raising questions on the security infrastructure backing decentralized apps handling billions in crypto assets. Rebuilding trust is a priority.
Altcoins gaining on BTC and ETH – Bitcoin and Ethereum still dominate, but so-called “altcoins” like Solana, Cardano and Polkadot grew share of the overall crypto market cap in 2022. Diversity is increasing.
Key Stat: $1.2 trillion current total crypto market valuation, less than half 2021’s all time high over $3 trillion. 
Beyond broader trends, several fundamental changes were made in 2023 to the underlying blockchain protocols powering Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other networks:
Two significant upgrades known as Taproot and Tapscript were activated on the Bitcoin network in late 2022, delivering improvements:
Increased privacy – Taproot masks complex smart contracts as regular transactions, hiding more details from the public blockchain.
Better scalability – By batching signature data, Taproot enables Layer 2 protocols like Lightning to handle higher transaction volume with lower fees.
While arguably the most important changes since 2017’s SegWit upgrade, Taproot has seen only gradual adoption in 2023 so far.
After delaying its Difficulty Bomb over the summer, Ethereum executed the Paris hard fork upgrade in December 2022:
Implemented lower average transaction fees, around 10-15 Gwei down from >100 Gwei.
Delayed difficulty bomb two more years to prevent network instability.
Burned over $17M in ETH since upgrade, deflationary policy continues.
The Shanghai upgrade is still planned for early 2024, merging Mainnet with the proof-of-stake Beacon chain finally delivering full ETH 2.0 capabilities.
Facing criticism over frequent network performance issues in 2022, Solana made upgrades to improve reliability:
Added Archivers to store historical ledger data off-chain, reducing memory requirements for validators.
Launched new transaction fee structure to better align economic incentives.
Continues work on Vasil hard fork, tentatively planned for Q1 2023, focused on greater scaling and usability.
Key Stat: Ethereum has burned over 2.2M ETH since August 2021 upgrade initiated policy, now deflationary asset. 
Governments made significant moves on crypto regulation in 2023, though uncertainty still looms in several key areas:
US Congress proposes comprehensive bill – The bipartisan Lummis-Gillibrand bill put forth long-awaited stablecoin, custody, and tax policy regulation, though fate remains unclear in divided legislature.
EU passes Markets in Crypto Assets law – The sweeping MiCA legislation provides stablecoin, licensing, and consumer protection regulation across European Union members starting in 2024.
India taxation still being finalized – After initially proposing a flat 30% crypto tax regardless of profit/losses, India is reworking the terms and expected to announce updated guidance.
China upholds crypto ban – China maintains a prohibition on cryptocurrency trading and mining established in 2021, although pilots for digital Renminbi rollout continue.
Key Stat: Over 50 countries have put in place some form of crypto AML regulation, most modeled off Financial Action Task Force guidelines. 
|No federal licensing; some state registration requirements
|MiCA mandates licensing starting 2024
|Unclear pending taxation rules
|Lummis-Gillibrand proposes supervision by Federal Reserve
|MiCA specifies reserve & redemption requirements
|Still in development
|Taxes on Capital Gains
|Varies based on tax bracket, not yet standardized
|No standard framework, differs in each country
|Original 30% flat tax proposal being revised
|N/A given trading ban
|No explicit rules, some local permitting processes
|Subject to licensing based on sustainability criteria
|No specific regulations yet
With so much change happening across the landscape, market experts have a wide range of predictions on what 2023 and beyond could bring:
Given crypto’s extreme volatility, BTC price estimates from analysts vary widely for 2023:
Tom Lee @ Fundstrat – Sets $40K target citing Fed pivot to less hawkish policy and potential ETF approval in H2. 
Mike McGlone @ Bloomberg – Sees extended bear market persisting with $20K eventual bottom, compares to dot-com bust ~80%+ decline. 
Cathie Wood @ Ark Invest – Projects $1M long term BTC price target by 2030, sees 500x gains driven by institutional money managers. 
Key Stat: Bitcoin averaged $17K price in Jan 2023, +11% from mid 2022 low around $15K but still -73% from Nov 2021 all time high above $68K. 
Beyond price speculation, experts predict how crypto and Web3 technology may evolve long term:
Widespread adoption at major banks – Offering custody, trading, financing and blockchain services as integral part of global financial system. 
Rise of new Layer 1 blockchains – Alternatives to ETH gain share by prioritizing speed, low costs and regulatory compliance for institutional use cases. 
Concerns over quantum computing threats – As quantum machines advance, cryptography experts warn Bitcoin and blockchain protocols could become vulnerable by 2030 time frame. 
Progress connecting digital and physical world – ‘Spatial web’ concepts leverage augmented reality, NFTs and metaverse to bridge gap between IRL and online domains. 
Key Stat: 55% of finance executives in global Deloitte survey expect digital assets will be ‘very/somewhat important’ for their business by 2027. 
For beginners, focus most on major market trends driving volatility, key protocol upgrades that impact network user experience, and regulation that determines trading rules & taxes in your region. Understanding fundamentals is critical before risking investment capital.
Great crypto resources for beginners include:
- Coindesk’s beginner newsletter 
- Decrypt beginner guides 
- Basics explained at Coinbase Blog 
- Educational content from Kraken 
- Influencer blogs summarizing need-to-know updates 
Key metrics to monitor growth potential beyond volatile crypto prices include:
- Active blockchain wallet addresses
- Real world store/merchant acceptance 
- Trading volumes across centralized exchanges 
- Decentralized Applications (dApps) user counts 
- Stablecoin supplies signal trading demand 
- Hash rates measuring mining network security 
- Job openings referencing crypto skillsets 
Is now a good time to invest in crypto as a beginner?
The extended bear market provides a high-risk, high-reward buying opportunity for long-term believers in the technology. But only invest an amount you’re prepared to lose as volatility continues.
Research use cases, activity levels, leadership teams and innovativeness of features beyond chasing short term price swings. Many altcoin projects will not survive long term.
Like cryptocurrencies, most NFTs remain highly speculative. But selected blue chip NFTs are establishing value based on social status and community access privileges beyond just artwork ownership rights.
Self-executing coded agreements on validation rules for transactions, with terms implemented automatically on-chain. Expand possibilities for finance, legal, real estate and other agreements done digitally end-to-end.
While environmental impact remains an issue especially for proof-of-work networks like Bitcoin, sector is rapidly shifting to renewable energy and alternative consensus models like proof-of-stake.
Crypto is experiencing the turbulent evolution of a groundbreaking innovation entering the established mainstream. Ledger technology’s ability to facilitate trusted transactions without central authorities has explosive potential—yet still needs maturing when it comes to security, scalability and real-world functionality.
Similarly, unchecked speculation in the crypto asset class led to stratospheric valuation spikes and subsequent crashes once fear and risk aversion set in across financial markets. Price discovery has years ahead to determine appropriate long term valuations aligned with network utility.
Yet for all the turbulence and uncertainty in these early days, the accelerating pace of adoption amongst developers, merchants, financial institutions and consumers suggests crypto’s staying power. The building blocks are falling into place for blockchain protocols, decentralized apps and digital tokens to very possibly upend economic models and rewrite the fundamentals for how business is conducted globally in the 21st century and beyond.
While drastic swings between exuberance and despair will likely continue, the most forward-thinking investors know that’s par for course when navigating the earliest days of exponential technological shifts. Those following crypto’s progress and inherent potential—rather than chasing ephemeral price moves—stand well-positioned to endure through the growing pains on the path to widespread integration of this revolutionary innovation into the fabric of our economic systems.
So brush up on the latest developments, stick to core principles of valuing technology utility above trading hype cycles, and buckle up for the long ride ahead!
Let me know if you have any other questions on key crypto topics for beginners to better understand this fast-moving landscape.
Monitoring growth in these diverse crypto ecosystem metrics can demonstrate user adoption beyond short term price speculation alone.
I hope this roundup of the top crypto news today for beginners helps provide valuable perspective on key developments to watch in 2023! Let me know if you have any other questions.