After a bumpy ride in January, cryptocurrency markets have finally started to stabilize. Wild swings are nothing new in in the world of virtual currencies, and most of us don’t even bat an eyelash when Bitcoin dips.
At the moment, the world’s first cryptocurrency is bouncing back after a nearly 40 percent drop since mid-December. Some members of the cryptocurrency investment community may see this as a turning point.
After a Stellar 2017, Could 2018 Be A Losing Year?
No doubt about it, Bitcoin had a great 2017. The market-leading virtual currency started the year at under $1,000. It stayed around the $900 to $1,200 trading range for the entire first quarter before hitting a run that brought Bitcoin’s price to a high of just under $20,000 near the year’s end.
To some, this looks like a tell-tale sign of a market bubble. An asset has a relatively stable trading range, and then all of the sudden bullish investors flood the market and start gobbling it up like Christmas ham. Then – one day, out of nowhere – investors realize they’ve speculated on something with little to no real value. Market leaders start to cash out, which triggers an avalanche of sales. Some of us get out early enough to stay alive. Others are left buried under a pile of worthless Beanie Babies ™.
Bitcoin is Poised for Another Historical Run
Nobody is denying that the cryptocurrency market is inflated by some degree of speculation. After all, Bitconnect still has a trade volume of around $5 million despite the fact that its platform has been shuddered by securities regulators as an alleged Ponzi scheme. Bitconnect has no product, no platform, and no value. So, the $5 million worth of the coin being bought and sold every day is basically just made up of people trading their mint-condition Mystic the Unicorn™ for that rare Digger the Crab ™.
Bitcoin has been quiet in the first fiscal quarter of the year ever since it was launched back in 2009. The cryptocurrency hit its annual lows in January of 2015, 2016, and 2017. If 2018 is anything like the previous few years, Bitcoin will stay relatively stable for the first few months of the year before hitting a bull run in the summertime.
Also encouraging is the fact that key analytics for January – including Fibonacci retracement, trade volume, and price movement – match up with market conditions in July 2017. This was right at the point Bitcoin shot to the moon last year, and many of us are looking forward to a repeat performance.
Upcoming Bitcoin Hard Forks May Increase Bitcoin Value
If Bitcoin is in a bubble, we will all find out the hard way. However, unlike Beanie Babies™, Bitcoin is supported by real economic value. Bitcoin is recognized the world over as an important store of value, particularly for people in politically and economically unstable countries.
The future of Bitcoin remains to be seen, but for now the cryptocurrency is far too volatile to be functional for mainstream banking and retail payment systems. And, frankly, the world’s first digital currency has a long way to go before it can actually compete with cash.
Bitcoin may be on track for an uneventful first quarter 2018. However, a number of hard forks are also planned during this period. Many of the new forks – just like new coins launched through ICOs – wont’ amount to much. Others, perhaps even very few, will make Bitcoin faster, cheaper, and easier for the mainstream consumer to use.
Watching charts is a lot like reading tea leaves. You stare at an arguably meaningless pattern, and you try and predict the future. However, when a bullish read on the charts is supported by increasing value in the marketplace, investors can get ready for a run. Bitcoin’s charts are looking good, and upcoming hard forks may push the virtual currency past its tipping point and into another sky-high trajectory.