2018 has come and gone, and most crypto enthusiasts would prefer to just forget about the terribly bearish year that endlessly plagued bitcoin and its digital counterparts.
December of 2017 is when bitcoin experienced its finest hour. We don’t need to talk about it too much – after all, you likely all remember, and it’s been spoken of so many times already – but that was when the currency hit its all-time high of nearly $20,000 a unit. Bitcoin was expected to accomplish great things in the coming 12 months, and enthusiasts had a lot of hope.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. With the start of 2018, bitcoin was already getting off the wrong foot, dropping to $16,000 within the first two weeks of the new year. It later fell to $15,000, then $11,000, then $10,000, and finally a rough $9,000 in February. In less than two months, bitcoin had lost more than half its value, and many were wondering what the heck was going on.
Things Take a Nasty Turn
By the summer of 2018, bitcoin was traversing through the $6,000 range and remained there for the most part over the next few months. Sure, there were a few drops and spikes along the way, but $6,000 felt very consistent – that is, until November of that year. Bitcoin’s little brother – bitcoin cash – was set to undergo a hard fork that would split the still relatively new currency into two chains.
The hard fork proved highly controversial, pitting some of the industry’s biggest leaders against each other and bringing many cryptocurrency prices, including bitcoin’s, down for the count. By the end of the month, bitcoin, the father of crypto, was trading for just over $3,600 – a significant fall from its summer figures, while other major competitors like Ethereum were trading for just over $80 – a massive fall from its $1,400 price nine months prior.
What Will Happen Next?
Now that all that’s said and done, most cryptocurrencies are slowly, but steadily making their way back into the green. Ethereum has since jumped to roughly $160 – double what it was last November, while bitcoin is now trading for over $4,000, a position it last held in late 2017.
Naturally, there are lots of questions going through enthusiasts’ minds right about now. For example, “What is making this happen?” and “Will this bullish behavior last or is the recent jump a fluke?” are two likely contenders.
Mati Greenspan – senior analyst at e-Toro – believes that bitcoin’s latest move could potentially be the start of something big. He states:
“A surge of 6.5 percent in 30 minutes is not entirely uncommon for bitcoin and could very well be caused by a single large order on an exchange or even by a lack of liquidity in the market. What’s interesting about this move is that it did bring us above the $4,000 level and so far, is holding onto the gains.”
Influencers at Work
At the same time, there are also individual maneuvers being made by large companies in the crypto space that could be influencing bitcoin’s price and behavior. CoinFlex, for example, was originally part of the U.K. bitcoin exchange CoinFloor. The venture has recently announced a break-away from its parent company followed by a statement that it will be offering physical bitcoin futures to investors in Asia starting in February of 2019.
Chief executive Mark Lamb explains:
“Crypto derivatives could become an order of magnitude larger than spot markets and the main thing that’s holding back that growth is the lack of physical delivery. Volumes are reduced because of a problem of trust when it comes to cash-settled trades.”
Most cryptocurrencies appear to be holding their ground now that 2018 and the bitcoin cash fork are over, though we still have 12 months to see if 2019 will be more like the previous year or keep the bulls working overtime.