Volatility in the crypto market is back with a bang today with the price of Bitcoin shooting past $8,000 per coin for the first time in months.
The price of Bitcoin, in fact, had been relatively stable for the last six consecutive months, according to data from crypto prime dealer SFOX.
While Bitcoin (and most other cryptocurrencies) are virtually synonymous with market volatility, crypto ended the year on a relatively quiet note, according to SFOX researchers. Their latest report claims that despite beginning 2019 at just over 70 percent historical volatility, Bitcoin closed out the year at just around 32 percent. (You can find a detailed formula for how SFOX calculates “historical volatility” at the bottom of its report here.)
What’s more, the crypto prime dealer claims that Bitcoin enjoyed “higher year-over-year returns” than even gold and the S&P 500, let alone other cryptocurrencies.
“BTC is proving to be largely uncorrelated with both the S&P 500 and gold,” the report explained. “This data about bitcoin’s high returns and low volatility made BTC a compelling tool for portfolio management in 2019.”
So what does all that mean for everyday investors, or even the companies that rely on Bitcoin for its operations? Not much, it seems—at least not yet.
Despite the low volatility of 2019, SFOX suggests 2020 could be an entirely different ball game. The coming months present several “potentially impactful, yet difficult to evaluate” factors, the report states.
Among those factors are BTC options products. These offerings are being rolled out by big players in the institutional crypto world, CME Group and Bakkt, which is backed by the owners of the New York Stock Exchange. But the demand for such products isn’t particularly high yet. The SFOX report highlights, for example, Bakkt’s less-than-impressive debut last September as evidence to this effect.
Other factors include the Bitcoin Halvening, scheduled for this coming May. In the past, the halving of Bitcoin mining rewards have resulted in considerable spikes in the price of Bitcoin, which has led to widespread speculation that the same could happen again in 2020.
On the other hand, some industry leaders, such as Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Jason Williams, don’t think the halving will have much of an impact at all.
But if Bitcoin’s latest price trend holds steady, it may be another wild ride yet.