Good news for crypto enthusiasts: Bitcoin has managed to rally past the key physiological mark of $30,000 for the first time since June last year, setting a new high for 2023. Ethereum, the second runner-up in the race to crypto supremacy, has also been performing well recently, inching closer to the $2,000 threshold.
Why is this good news? Well, the market has been grappling with the effects of the coldest crypto winter to date for the better part of 2022 and well into 2023. The prices of all major cryptocurrencies suffered a brutal comedown from their 2021 highs, causing the market to lose a total of approximately $2 trillion over the course of just a few months. After reaching a new all-time high of over $68,000 in November 2021, Bitcoin lost more than 70% of its value, dropping below $16,000 in November 2022. Stablecoins TerraUSD and LUNA collapsed one after another, wiping out over $40 billion in investors’ funds.
And it’s not just the plummeting prices that caused havoc in the crypto sphere, but all the bankruptcies and scandals that fueled the downturn. A number of crypto exchanges, hedge funds, and brokerage services filed for bankruptcy, including the infamous Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX whose founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faces no less than twelve criminal charges, four for fraud and eight for conspiracy, and risks spending his life in prison.
All in all, 2022 was a terrible year for the crypto market, to put it lightly. Given the context, any sign of improvement, as feeble as it may be, is more than welcome in a time when fear, doubt and uncertainty are dominating the cryptoverse, so Bitcoin’s latest price jump is definitely something to be happy about.
The ongoing Bitcoin rally – a sign of recovery or just a momentary improvement?
Despite a less-than-stellar year, digital currencies started 2023 on a more positive note, with most coins showing resilience and prices slowly appreciating. Since the beginning of the year, Bitcoin gained more than 80% in value, experiencing an increase of more than 17% over the past couple of weeks. Although the king of crypto is still far from its previous highs, the price rally gives investors hope that the worst might already be behind and the crypto winter is finally reaching an end.
But is this really a sign that the market is getting back on track or should we expect the freezing temperatures to linger for a while longer? Are we reading too much into a temporary price increase or are there real reasons to feel optimistic? As expected, opinions and interpretations vary as crypto tends to have different viewpoints on the matter. So, in order to maintain a realistic approach, we have to take a look at the overall context and analyze the situation with a healthy dose of skepticism.
High inflation and rising interest rates have been cited as major contributing factors to the crypto winter. The cryptocurrency market thrived in 2020 and 2021 partly because the US Federal Reserve was injecting money into markets to help offset the negative effects of the global health crisis. When this support ceased and the Fed decided to increase interest rates, highly volatile markets were the most affected, and that’s exactly what happened to crypto. There are now speculations that the Federal Reserve might once again shift the approach and slow or even pause interest rate hikes. If this prediction comes true, it’s more likely for crypto assets to make a speedy recovery.
Also, Bitcoin’s price increase overlaps with the turmoil in the baking industry, as three major banks, Silvergate, Silicon Valley, and Signature, are going through some tough times. Some pundits suggest that these events might have contributed to the recent Bitcoin appreciation, possibly because more investors chose to convert their funds into crypto, although there is no statistical data in this respect.
Whatever the reason might be, it appears that traders and investors are slowly but surely finding their way back to crypto as the doubt and fear that have plagued the market for so long are starting to fade away. Analysts also explain that investors have gained a better understanding of the crypto market and are becoming more aware of Bitcoin’s long-term potential, so they’re less worried about the changing figures and short-term price movements. Their focus has shifted and they’re more interested in what Bitcoin might be able to achieve in the future, instead of looking at its constant price swings.
Where to from here?
As the Bitcoin price continues its positive trend, people are now curious about how long this is going to last. After all, the $30,000 mark is not such an important milestone for Bitcoin since the asset has experienced much higher values in the past.
Unfortunately, predicting the price of Bitcoin or any other crypto for that matter or making forecasts about the future of the crypto market is simply impossible given the well-known volatility of this nascent asset class. So, there’s no way to tell if Bitcoin’s price rally is going to transform into a full-blown bull run in the months to come, or if the asset is going to swing back and forth between highs and lows.
What we can say for sure is that the crypto market has a tendency to recover once it has reached its lowest point. In crypto’s short but eventful history, each bear run was followed by a bull market, making digital assets rise above their previous highs. Obviously, nothing is cast in stone in the volatile crypto realm. But if history is going to repeat itself, as it often does, another bull run might be just around the corner. Until that scenario comes true, we can only hope that Bitcoin maintains its upward trajectory and that the rest of the altcoins follow in its footsteps.