Ever since December 2017 when the price of Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $19,511, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been stuck in a very bearish market. Over the last six to seven month’s, the top-ranked cryptocurrency‘s value fell approximately 70 percent and even fell below $6,000 during the end of June 2018. However, despite the decline, it looks like the bearish market could be poised to become a bullish one very soon.
Bitcoin in a Freefall Since December 2017
Although Bitcoin hit extreme highs in December 2017, it took Bitcoin less than two months for the price to fall to approximately $7,500 in early February—a nearly 65-percent decline in value. A brief rebound over the next couple of days brought the price to approximately $11,748, only to fall below $7,000 over the next two months.
According to Kun Woo, a research intern at RIAT, the Institute for Future Cryptoeconomics, Bitcoin’s decline in price from December 2017 was most likely due to the introduction of Bitcoin futures.
“The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence,” said the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. “Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset.”
While the price of Bitcoin increased to almost $10,000 at the end of April, the price has since endured a steady decline until the end of June. The bearish market was a concern for many investors, especially when Bitcoin was worth only $5,903 on June 29, 2018.
2018 was, however, a significantly different environment than 2017. Major social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and even Google banned cryptocurrency ads, while regulators around the world were beginning to crack down on the challenges faced from cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges.
In March 2018, the SEC stated that “digital assets, like coins and tokens offered and sold in initial coin offerings (ICOs), fall within the definition of a security under US security laws.”
The announcement, unfortunately, caused about a 10-percent drop in the value of Bitcoin. Several noteworthy exchange hacks may also have contributed to the June decline in prices.
Positive News has Led to Bitcoin Price Increases
As of July 23, 2018, however, Bitcoin’s price has rebounded to $7,722, most likely propelled by a significant number of positive news stories. While it’s a long ways away from December 2017’s all-time high, it could indicate that the long bear market is beginning to turn around.
Most recently, news about institutional investors looking to enter the market has further reignited confidence among retail investors, causing a small increase in the overall price of Bitcoin.
Bearish Market May Turn Around with Greater Clarity on Regulations
While recent price increases are encouraging, many investors remain uncertain whether the ‘Crypto Winter’ is over and if ‘Crypto Spring’ is just around the corner. The cryptocurrency market’s constant fluctuations make it difficult to assess the industry’s future.
According to CNBC, the largest problem with the industry is the lack of regulatory clarity. It’s hard to invest in an industry with high regulatory uncertainty. There are, however, national and international efforts banding together to create a cohesive legal framework surrounding cryptocurrencies. Greater clarity will not only provide existing investors more confidence, it would also attract more risk-adverse individuals into the market.
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