January 8, 2024
Ikuma Mutobe

Writing down my thoughts at the beginning of 2024 and reviewing them at the end can be a learning experience. It's easy to forget what I’m thinking about. Memories can be altered to suit our convenience, so I've written them down.

Monetary Easing

The shift from monetary tightening to monetary easing is probably the most noteworthy issue.

Interest rates fell from October 2023 to the end of the year, leading to a rise in the prices of stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Many people expect interest rates to continue falling from 2024 to 2026. As interest rates fall, I believe the prices of capital markets and cryptocurrencies will likely rise.

Many Elections

This year is marked by numerous elections, with the U.S. presidential election being the center of attention. There is a lot of focus on whether Trump will run again. The outcome will significantly impact financial, economic, and diploma policies, so it's essential to pay attention.

  • January: Taiwan Presidential Election
  • February: Indonesia Presidential Election
  • March: Russia Presidential Election
  • April: South Korea General Election
  • April-May: India General Election
  • June: Mexico Presidential Election
  • November: U.S. Presidential Election


The approval of ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) will be a catalyst for institutional investors, financial institutions, and individuals who cannot directly purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum, to start investing in them. Given their volatility, incorporating a certain percentage of cryptocurrencies into their portfolios through ETFs can theoretically increase returns, leading to increased capital inflows.

However, the increase in cryptocurrency holdings through ETFs means that more people who do not care about the 'financial freedom' and 'self-custody' that Bitcoin aimed for will start holding them in a future where capital inflows into cryptocurrencies via ETFs increase. It is crucial to understand this aspect.


Throughout 2023, Ethereum has been advancing its modularization, transforming into a Rollup-centric ecosystem. The latter half of 2023 saw the launch of Celestia, bringing Data Availability (DA) into the spotlight. Ethereum's role as a DA is being increasingly challenged by players like Celestia, Avail, Eigen DA, and Near.

The question arises: what happens to the value of ETH if it loses its revenue as a DA?

I believe that Ethereum is the second key currency after Bitcoin in Crypto; Ethereum is decentralized, censorship-resistant, and has established credible neutrality. That's why it also generates innovation. This is what makes it so valuable.

A hard fork of Ethereum, including Dencun and Prague-Electra, is planned for 2024.

Dencun, planned for Q1 2024, will feature EIP-4844 (Proto-Danksharding), reducing Data Availability costs. Even post-EIP-4844, I've heard Alt DA might still be more cost-effective.

Prague-Electra, under discussion and scheduled for later in the year, will introduce new features like Verkle Trees(to be determined) and improvements in BLS signature verification. Introducing Verkle Trees, a crucial step toward a Stateless Ethereum, is particularly exciting.


We have seen an increase and competition in Rollups. This trend is likely to continue due to transitions from other L1s to Rollups, dApps moving to their chains, and aggressive marketing from Rollup as a Service.

However, few Rollups have successfully differentiated themselves, leading to intense competition.

Many fail to create fundamental value, resulting in a race for incentives. Ultimately, I believe Rollups with specialized functions or those with their ecosystems will survive.

For dApps, transitioning to app-chains, like dYdX, will be challenging without a certain scale of business. If it is not working with dApps, it will not work with its own chain.

ZK and FHE

At Progcrypto in Istanbul in November 2023, PRIVACY + SCALING EXPLORATIONS presented an example of obtaining credit scores anonymously using ZK and FHE.

In 2024, we should see more applications of powerful cryptographic technologies like ZK coprocessors and FHE. Fhenix, one of our portfolios, is working on end-to-end encryption for public blockchains. This will allow on-chain data to be treated privately, reducing issues like MEV, as even validators won't have access to the data.

The Year of Expanding Intent

Intent-based services like CoW Swap, 1inch, Uniswap X, and Intent-based Bridges, currently implemented off-chain, are incredibly convenient. Intent allows for the prevention of slippage and MEV and enables more complex functionalities. This year, we can expect more services utilizing Intent.

Projects like Anoma, SUAVE, and Essential are working on on-chain implementation mechanisms. All are expected to take some time to release. When I spoke with Anoma's CEO in Istanbul last November, the main net will be released by the end of 2024. Let's look forward to it.

For those interested in Intent, please see the following:

Current Status and Potential of Intent

Evolution of Staking

From Bitcoin's PoW, to Cosmos first adopting PoS, to Lido's Liquid Staking and EigenLayer's Restaking, staking has evolved significantly. The next evolution is Long Term Staking.

In traditional finance, the longer the bond duration, the higher the interest rate, as issuers need to pay more for longer-term borrowing. This is often analyzed using yield curves.

However, in staking, the interest rate remains the same regardless of duration. By offering higher rates for long-term stakers, we can create incentives for long-term commitment.

This is crucial for stable network operation. Validators can earn higher returns for long-term commitment, and in return, the protocol benefits from their stable, long-term participation.

Gas Fee Derivatives

Gas fees are always volatile. It's high when you want to swap tokens or mint NFTs. Wouldn't it be great if gas fees were more stable or fixed in advance?

Gas fees are similar to commodities like oil. Pre-booking block space could be a solution (as proposed in ATOM2.0 with NFTs).

There are many factors to consider, like calculating future block space prices and incentivizing proposers (validators) to participate.

Please let us know if you have a project or want to solve the issues.

Evolution of DAO Governance

At Tané, we're committed to DAO governance, spearheaded by Takeshi. For Crypto projects, 'decentralization' is paramount to avoid being classified as securities under U.S. regulations.

The total treasury of DAO-operated projects has exceeded $30B (deepDAO). Most of these projects are post-PMF (Product-Market Fit) in terms of product development.

The treasury sizes of some DAOs, like Optimism, are approaching $7B to $10B.

In 2024, the roles of Service Providers offering professional services in their fields and Delegates contributing to DAO operations will become more prominent.

We’re also watching topics like Grants program improvements, redefining the role of foundations, and dealing with bad actors (capture, spying, etc.).

Cosmos: Great Ideas, But...

CosmosHub has struggled to grow due to unclear operational commitment. Internal conflicts among major token holders are partly to blame. In 2024, projects using the Cosmos SDK, like Celestia, dYdX, and Sei, should lead the ecosystem.

The value of Cosmos Hub lies in providing security. Since it's PoS, market cap size is the most important. Other projects like Celestia might overshadow it during 2024. (Celestia's FDV already exceeds that of Cosmos Hub.)

Despite creating great ideas like Interchain Security and ATOM2.0, their practical application and attention seem to be drawn to other ecosystems like Ethereum. In 2024, the Cosmos ecosystem will see the Proof of Liquidity is born and may flourish in other ecosystems.

IBC is a great technology. They have recently created an X (Twitter) account and are ramping up their marketing efforts. The concern is that if the Cosmos Hub weakens, development of technology stacks such as IBC may stall.

Web3 Social is Noise

Web3 Social is receiving a lot of expectations from investors and entrepreneurs. However, aside from the hype around Airdrops, there aren't many Web3 Social services that truly excite users.

While controlling one's social graph is understandable in terms of self-custody, finding value in controlling a non-monetary asset like a social graph is less appealing to users.

Expectations of token Airdrops increase KPIs like active users and actions, but this is just noise, complicating the discovery of PMF. Incentivizing basic actions with tokens is even a bad idea.

Are there any Web3 Social services you use daily without Airdrop?

Token Airdrops inflate user numbers temporarily, providing misleading indicators. Entrepreneurs should understand this, and investors should be wary of those who exploit it.

Farcaster sometimes feels more interesting than X (Twitter), possibly due to the higher quality of its smaller user base. However, this isn't unique to Web3 Social.

Regulatory Clarity

2024 should bring more clarity to U.S. regulations. Depending on the extent of the changes, it could significantly impact startups and investors.

In Dubai, crypto regulations began in earnest in 2023, with an increasing number of companies obtaining licenses. In 2024, we hope to see more practical examples of token issuance in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.