The peaks and valleys of Bitcoin: rules of the cyclical market
Back on December 17, 2017, BTC achieved its all-time-high of $19,767 and then started a long price fall. The downtrend ended up lasting for more than 500 days, but today Bitcoin seems to be recovering after the long bearish period.
Since the end of 2017, the BTC price has dropped by more than 80% and today it is settled around $5200. What a nightmare! But this was not the first time BTC experienced such pronounced falls.
Financial markets are cyclical and the cryptocurrency market is not an exception. We’ve decided to do a retrospective of the major Bitcoin price cycles that have punctuated its short history.
The first cycle: autumn 2010 – summer 2011
BitcoinMarket.com (no longer in operation) was the very first BTC exchange, opening trades on March 17, 2010. For a long time, the price of BTC was no more than a few cents. In this period the BTC price started at $0.06 and only achieved $0.8 in April of the next year.
The first enthusiasts who learned and understood the technology entered the market and provoked a non-parabolic but significant rise in price. Exponential growth in such a short period of time drew more traders into the BTC market. As a result, the price jumped to $36 in July.
After that, Bitcoin got into a price adjustment phase and dropped by 94% to $2. This resulted in many people calling BTC a Ponzi scheme and a bubble.
The second cycle: autumn 2011 – spring 2013
The second cycle repeated the market behaviour of the previous period. BTC started growing from $2, achieved $10 and then suddenly jumped to $200 in April 2013. It was an enormous increase of 2500% which was followed by a price crash within a few weeks. As a result, BTC finished at $50 and gained over 90% during the cycle.
This time market trades were accompanied by the emergence of new digital currencies including Litecoin and the creation of the Bitcoin Foundation. The organisation is focused on spreading the word about BTC and giving it positive media coverage, leading to the mass adoption of the coin. These events also affected the Bitcoin price.
The third cycle: spring 2013 – winter 2013
The third bullish cycle developed gradually and Bitcoin was able to reach a new price point of $100 by just September. Then the coin skyrocketed again to $1160, resulting in a 1060% increase in December of 2013. This price boom drew great attention from the media. But when the price dropped to $150 in 2015, most of the noise quickly faded away.
The downtrend was much longer than previous ones and it made many crypto enthusiasts doubt that BTC could set new price records and enjoy sustained success. However, the minimum price of the third cycle was three times higher than in the previous period.
The fourth cycle: winter 2015 – winter 2017
During the fourth cycle, Bitcoin was taking giant leaps from one price point to another. The rate started at $1000 and then increased 5 times to $5000. But as we all remember, the finest hour for BTC was December 2017. That month the digital currency surprised everyone and set a new price record, growing over $19000.
After such a tremendous price growth, the crash of the cryosphere was severe and cut the value of BTC by almost five times. It was the longest bearish period in the whole 10 years of Bitcoin history. Today, many analysts claim that Bitcoin has achieved its bottom line and are preparing for another bull run.
All four price cycles have the same pattern. It starts with a gradual price growth which can last for months and proceeds with a booming but short uptrend. Then comes a market crash with price correction which wipes out 50% of the coin’s value. In the end, the bottom price is always higher than the price of the previous period.