Understanding Cryptocurrencies' Market Cycles

11-12-2023

Understanding Cryptocurrencies' Market Cycles

Will Ethereum's price increase next week? Will Bitcoin's value surpass $100,000 within the next year? Questions like these frequently occupy the minds of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors. In the dynamic and highly volatile world of cryptocurrencies, a thorough understanding of market cycles can offer a financial edge. Let's delve into the complexities of these cycles, unraveling the forces that drive them, and explore the feasibility of predicting the future of digital currencies.

Overview of Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin Market Cycles

As highlighted in previous blogs, cryptocurrencies are a form of digital money that exists exclusively online. They utilize a unique technology known as 'blockchain' to ensure secure and transparent transactions. Bitcoin, which was created in late 2008, is the pioneer of cryptocurrencies and continues to be the most popular, with the largest market capitalization. Consequently, our primary focus will be on Bitcoin. This focus is also justified by the observed trend in cryptocurrency market cycles, where Bitcoin's price movements often lead and influence the trends of other cryptocurrencies, which react with a slight delay.

Since its inception, Bitcoin's price history has been characterized by four distinct boom-and-bust cycles:


  1. A June 2011 peak at approximately $31, followed by an April 2012 bottom at around $5.

  2. A December 2013 peak at nearly $1100, with an August 2015 bottom close to $200.

  3. A December 2017 peak at $19600, descending to a December 2018 bottom of $3200.

  4. A November 2021 peak at $68800, plummeting to a November 2022 bottom of $15740.


Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency, introduced after Bitcoin, has exhibited a price pattern strikingly similar to that of Bitcoin.


Ethereum historical price in Euros

The growing awareness and understanding of cryptocurrencies, coupled with their intriguing technical aspects and potential applications, have led to increasing interest in this field. This trend is evidenced by the fact that the peaks and troughs of each successive cycle have been consistently higher than those in the previous ones.

Understanding Market Cycles

Market cycles in all investment assets, including cryptocurrencies, are periods during which the market undergoes widespread price increases (known as bull markets) and decreases (known as bear markets). The psychology of a market cycle involves a complex interplay of investor emotions and behaviors, driving the fluctuating patterns of markets.

In the early stages, optimism and confidence grow as prices start to rise, leading investors to believe that the market will continue to perform well. This optimism eventually turns into excitement and, at the peak of the cycle, euphoria, where investment decisions are often driven more by the fear of missing out on potential gains than by rational analysis. However, as the market starts to turn, investors often enter a state of denial, followed by fear and panic as prices plummet, leading to a rapid sell-off. At the bottom of the cycle, despondency prevails, often causing investors to exit the market at low prices, thereby cementing their losses. The cycle typically ends with the market gradually stabilizing. Skepticism gives way to hope and renewed optimism, setting the stage for the next cycle.

The well-known image below identifies the various psychological phases experienced by investors during a market cycle, correlating these phases with the third Bitcoin market cycle.

Psychological phases of a market cycle paired with the third price cycle of Bitcoin.

What Drives These Market Cycles?

Market cycles, especially in the realm of cryptocurrencies, are influenced by a variety of interplaying factors that contribute to the observed patterns of booms and busts. Some of the most important factors include:


  • Features Inherent to Cryptocurrencies: A key driver is the concept of 'halving' in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Halving, which occurs approximately every four years, reduces the reward for mining new blocks by half, effectively slowing the rate at which new coins are generated. This event often creates anticipatory hype and speculative investment, as a reduced supply can lead to increased prices if demand remains steady or grows.
  • Technological Advancements and Regulatory Developments: Innovations in blockchain technology or positive regulatory news can bolster investor confidence, driving market upswings. An example is the popular topic of the Bitcoin ETF approval by the SEC (learn more about this topic on our previous blog post). On the other hand, regulatory crackdowns or technological setbacks can lead to market downturns.
  • Investor Sentiment: This is heavily influenced by media coverage and the actions of influential figures in the crypto space. Positive news and endorsements can lead to increased buying activity, while negative news can prompt selling sprees.
  • Economic Factors: Elements such as inflation, interest rates, and global economic stability play a significant role. In times of economic uncertainty, cryptocurrencies can be viewed as a hedge against traditional financial markets, attracting more investment and potentially driving up prices.

Predicting Cryptocurrency Cycles

Predicting cryptocurrency market cycles is a challenging task due to the market's inherent volatility and the myriad of factors influencing price movements. However, investors use various strategies and tools in an attempt to forecast these cycles and capitalize on them:


  • Technical Analysis: Many investors rely on technical analysis, which involves examining historical price charts and market statistics to identify patterns and trends. This method includes using indicators like moving averages, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), and Bollinger Bands to predict future market movements. Traders often look for signals such as 'bullish' or 'bearish' patterns and resistance/support levels to inform their buying or selling decisions.
  • Fundamental Analysis: In contrast to technical analysis, fundamental analysis focuses on the intrinsic value of a cryptocurrency by examining underlying factors like technology, team, development progress, market adoption, and the regulatory environment. Investors using this approach aim to determine whether a cryptocurrency is overvalued or undervalued at its current price.
  • Sentiment Analysis: Considering the impact of investor sentiment on cryptocurrency prices, some traders analyze market sentiment using tools that track social media, news trends, and the overall market mood.

Other methods include: a) On-Chain Metrics: This involves analyzing blockchain data, such as the increasing number of active addresses, which might indicate growing network usage and a potential price increase. b) Economic Indicators: Some investors look at broader economic indicators, like inflation rates, stock market performance, or monetary policies.

However, often the simplest way to predict the phase of a market cycle is through common sense. For instance, the depression phase can often be identified when traditional newspapers publish articles predicting the demise of cryptocurrencies and their prices plummeting to zero, which usually coincides with the bottom of the cycle.

Conclusion

Despite the array of tools and techniques described above, it is crucial to acknowledge that predicting cryptocurrency market cycles remains a highly speculative endeavor, accompanied by significant risk. No single method can guarantee success, and market movements are often unpredictable. For anyone considering investment in cryptocurrencies, diversification and effective risk management are indispensable strategies.

In recognition of these challenges, we have developed Givearn. Givearn is designed to offer a balanced portfolio of cryptocurrencies, aiming to mitigate risk and volatility. In addition to the potential appreciation of the portfolio, it offers users weekly cryptocurrency rewards that amount to an annual return of 5.2%. In this way, Givearn combines a steady income stream with the dynamic potential of the cryptocurrency market. Therefore, Givearn emerges as the ideal solution for savvy investors, blending the excitement of cryptocurrencies with a prudent, diversified approach, and offering a smarter, safer gateway to the dynamic world of digital assets.



Disclaimer and Risk Warning: This content is presented to you on an “as is” basis for general information and educational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind. It should not be construed as financial, legal or other professional advice. You should seek your own advice from appropriate professional advisors. Digital asset prices can be volatile. The value of your investment may go down or up and you may not get back the amount invested. You are solely responsible for your investment decisions and Givearn is not liable for any losses you may incur. For more information, see our Terms of Use.