It’s undeniable. There is a definite herd mentality in the crypto market right now. Prices are going to go lower with no end in sight. Seems obvious, right? The danger is that it feels too obvious. And the obvious, of course, is always a risky proposition in any market.
Bitcoin has just suffed its biggest weekly loss since 2013, and most analysts are eyeing further downside. Much like the euphoric Bitcoin price runup in December, it all seems to be playing out in reverse, except this time no support level is too strong to break and no target is too low to reach.
What could possibly go wrong?
Since its inception, Bitcoin, and the wider cryptocurrency space have had to contend with endless doubters and naysayers. Even many of those who believe in the merits of cryptocurrencies, and or the underlying blockchain technology, have questioned whether the time is right for the brave new decentralized world that they are hoping to usher in.
And yet, in spite of all these doubts, a single Bitcoin is worth 4 figures. Despite falling from the giddy heights it reached around a year ago, Bitcoin is still flying much higher than many ever thought it could. Following a particularly turbulent period, Bitcoin, and the wider market appear to have achieved some kind of equilibrium.
But a decade into this experiment, still no one can really say what the future holds. Both the proponents and the skeptics have only further entrenched themselves and neither seems ready to cede any ground. Which side will prevail? Let’s take a look at the arguments for and against.
Let’s start with the more encouraging side of things. In spite of a heavy crash earlier this year, the cryptocurrency market has recovered and investors do not seem to have been turned off by the battering that many have taken. As long as these investors continue to see value in the market, it’s hard to envisage the collapse that some have predicted.
Investors’ optimism has also proven resilient to a few regulatory setbacks this year. Businesses from a wide range of industries have continued to express their interest in adopting cryptocurrencies and integrating them into their existing business models in some way. There are still relatively few merchants accepting crypto payments, you can’t yet routinely pay for your morning coffee with Bitcoin, but banks, payment processors, and a number of major players in the tech industry, have all shown an interest in hastening their adoption of cryptocurrencies.
There are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies out there, no one can deny that the market is booming in this regard. However, we have seen some of the most promising-sounding coins fall away to exit scams, and the unregulated nature of the market continues to pose challenges.
Of the 2,000 or so coins on the market today, just under half of them (over 800) are as good as finished, with the value of each coin below one cent. There have been a number of highly critical reports, highlighting the high proportion of ICOs which have turned out to be scams, so this is perhaps unsurprising. Of the coins that are legitimate, difficulty in penetrating the traditional investment arena, as well as the continuing regulatory pariah status, has made making progress slow and difficult.
Cryptocurrencies are definitely facing an uphill battle to achieve mainstream success, but it is a battle that they have been fighting for 10 years now, and the market is only getting stronger. Sure, the infamous crash of late 2017 / early 2018 deterred a number of investors, but this crash followed Bitcoin’s rise to almost $20,000. The subsequent recovery of the market, and the ongoing investment in both the coins themselves, and the surrounding technologies, proves that there is still plenty of interest.
And, ultimately, that is the real test for the crypto space. As long as investors continue to see value and invest in the market, it will remain as a market force. New potential uses for blockchain and for cryptocurrencies are being postulated constantly. While many, even the majority, of the coins may ultimately fail, what we’re left with is the cream of the crop.
Until cryptocurrencies achieve mainstream regulatory approval and appeal, there will certainly be risks in investing in them. However, that doesn’t detract from the potential that this technology has to offer both individuals and businesses in a number of capacities. Individual coins will continue to come and go, but there is no doubt that the market is here to stay.