- Bitcoin suffered a historic price crash last week.
- Some experts tell Decrypt that this was all expected, and even healthy in the long term. Others aren't so sure.
That bull may still have some kick in him yet, despite the events of the past week, experts tell Decrypt.
Bitcoin’s latest price crash (or “correction,” if you’re technical and perhaps more optimistic) has many investors worried—especially those new to the game who have been quick to sell.
Some are already fearing the worst—another frosty crypto winter, when we’re still in May. Bitcoin showed signs that the bull run may be coming to an end when the crypto market suffered its worst dollar-denominated pullback in history, and for a whole host of reasons.
But many analysts believe we’re still in the bull market, and the dip in Bitcoin's value was well overdue.
Fred Pye, the CEO of Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) 3iQ, told Decrypt that we’re not yet in the bear market, and that Bitcoin’s massive gains over the last year were “not humanly unsustainable.”
“This [the pullback] had a lot to do with China, and how they want to crackdown,” he said. “The market was desperately looking for a reason to have a correction—anything going from $10k to $60k in that time makes absolutely no sense, just look at the rates of return on our hedge funds, it’s not humanly possible or sustainable.”
He added that corrections like what Bitcoin just experienced have been played out with tech stocks and are very normal.
Charles Bovaird, vice president of content at Quantum Economics, echoed the sentiment, and added that “we’re not in a crypto winter” and “pullbacks like these are to be expected.”
Bitcoin’s pullback started last week when billionaire investor, Elon Musk announced that his car company Tesla (which invested $1.5 billion in the currency in February) would no longer accept the digital assets for payment, citing environmental concerns.
This led to “confusion in the markets,” according to blockchain data firm Glassnode, and caused people to sell their holdings. China’s central bank and a handful of Chinese payment firms then restated rules limiting crypto transactions, leading to more market mayhem. The country is also cracking down on those who produce Bitcoin; China's financial committee last week said that it would monitor Bitcoin miners in an attempt to “resolutely prevent and control financial risks.”
Bitcoin—and the wider altcoin market—continued to dip in value as perhaps novel and nervous investors got rid of their crypto cash.
Though Bitcoin specifically was on a somewhat wacky run: it’s all-time high last month of nearly $64,000 was an 826% increase from the year before when it was worth $6,875.
In Pye’s words: “not humanely sustainable.”
Those in the world of traditional finance see the recent volatility as a sign to stay away for good—regardless of bull or bear markets.
Chart: User growth on the BTC network.
No-coiners are taking this opportunity to buy the dip.
In case you're wondering, the bull market is very much intact.
— Willy Woo (@woonomic) May 24, 2021
Jerry Klein, managing director of New York City-based Treasury Partners, which manages $9 billion in assets, said that “the recent volatility in Bitcoin shows that companies cannot rely on cryptocurrencies as sound corporate cash investments.”
He added: “When a company invests cash in bitcoin, price declines in Bitcoin can have a significant impact on earnings per share, while price increases provide no benefit.”
A market pullback like this, though big, is apparently normal, when looking at Bitcoin’s previous cycles, according to some. Blockchain analysis company Glassnode said in a report that what we’re seeing now is consistent with five major pullbacks during the 2017 bull.
But some experts are still unsure.
Ex-banker and analyst Alex Kruger also told Decrypt that it was still too early to say. “It will only become clear in hindsight,” he said. “It was not a long overdue simple correction. It was a black swan in size and speed. Corona Crash aside, it was the largest correction since 2013.”
March 2020 & May 20201 are very similar. Both black swans in magnitude and speed. Similar charts. This is the short-term playbook for most. https://t.co/q1utPdvXri
— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) May 26, 2021
Ethereum, the market’s second largest asset by market capitalization, was likewise deeply affected by the crash. The crypto asset has been on a tear in 2021, outperforming even Bitcoin in terms of year-to-date gains. But despite the bullish sentiment surrounding its upcoming update to , and changes to its protocol that analysts argue could make it an even more attractive investment, ETH lost nearly 58% of its value following the Black Wednesday crash.
Kruger, however, says he personally remains very bullish on , regardless of how other assets are performing. “But it's very hard for crypto to rally sustainably without Bitcoin following through,” he said.
Indeed, Bitcoin is still the engine that drives the crypto train. And it could be a bumpy ride yet. Hold tight, HODLers.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.