It has been weeks of chaos and reverberating pains for investors and the cryptocurrency market. The much touted digital gold has been on a free fall since more than a week ago, triggered by the announcement of one its cheerleaders Elon Musk, to halt Tesla’s bitcoin transactions, and Chinese government’s decision to stop financial institutions in China from conducting cryptocurrency transactions.
These two decisions resulted in the crypto market’s crash that has seen the over $2 trillion valued market lose nearly half of its value.
But as the loss stirs emotions and concerns about the future of cryptocurrency, validating negative predictions by governments and many business leaders, Crypto experts believe it offers an ample opportunity of correction that will buoy further growth.
Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares, a London-based company that offers digital asset investment strategies, told CNBC on Wednesday that the current correction in crypto is “healthy” and “normal” and that she remains a long-term crypto bull.
Bitcoin has plunged more than 40% in value, from its all-time peak of $64,829.14 in mid-April, going as low as $30,000, while Ethereum has dropped by a similar amount from its all-time high of $4,382.73 set earlier this month, to as low as less than $2,400.
Altcoins aren’t spared either, with each of them recording a full share of the plunge, the cryptocurrency market is having one of its worst moments in time.
There has been mass liquidation that got more than $8 billion wiped off in different future exchanges, and more than 800,000 individual accounts lost their complete funds.
Luke Lloyd, investment strategist at Strategic Wealth Partners, a self-described crypto bull, told Forbes that corrections like this play a large part in crypto markets because they are speculative assets based solely on supply and demand.
He added that once there are large gains on the table for a certain crypto, people “tend to take profits and cash out to go somewhere else — that’s what we are seeing with many cryptocurrencies right now that have had huge gains.”
But as panic strikes through the market, especially among the newbies, the coins are beginning to retrace their steps back to high. Musk said Tesla has no plan to sell its bitcoins, and he is not selling his Dogecoins either, fueling a rebound. Bitcoin is trading nearly $37,000 and Ether, less than $2,500 as of the time of writing.
Corporations are still buying bitcoins, augmenting investors’ push to buy the dip. More than one million addresses bought bitcoin between $32,300.26 and $43,781.97, according to On-Chain Data. That’s more than 68.5% of the total On-Chain volume on Thursday.
Data from ForexStock shows that 35 companies are still holding more than 200,000 bitcoins. Tesla holds more than 42,000 bitcoins, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust holds 653,274 bitcoins and 3,165,721 Ether. Microstrategy which holds about 111,000 bitcoins bought more during the market pullback.
The China ban was a major blow to bitcoin as it has been in the past. In 2017, China’s move to ban cryptocurrency resulted in about a 23% dip. But bitcoin bounced back quickly and recorded about 30% growth in the next one month. It means that China’s narrative has been part of bitcoin’s bull cycle story. Analysts believe it will not be different this time around.
Hitesh Malviya, founder of ItsBlockchain said there are going to be a lot of similarities between 2017 and now.
“On Daily Chart, we found a lot of similarities between the September 2017 drop, and yesterday’s pullback. Bitcoin is showing strong buying pressure on the lower time frame, if the current daily candle manages to close above $40,000 then I think bitcoin will quickly recover from the recent pullback, and BTC prices should retest to $48,000 area soon,” he said, adding that there is a decent chance for a possible V Shape recovery if it happens then we can find a bitcoin price above $100,000 in the next few months.
Another factor that is expected to fuel a bitcoin bounceback is Taproot, a soft fork that improves bitcoin’s scripts to increase privacy and improve upon other factors related to complex transactions. Taproot will bring major improvements to Bitcoin’s privacy. When combined with Schnorr signatures, it is also expected to boost efficiency when performing transactions.
While there have been many bitcoin corrections, Taproot is the most significant upgrade to its network since 2017. With its potential to improve bitcoin’s usability, Taproot is expected to widen bitcoin’s value and usability. The activation is expected to happen in November.
Another factor that may help to curtail bitcoin’s volatility is sustainable energy. Musk had cited it as a reason while his electric vehicle company would no longer use bitcoin. He said Thursday that top bitcoin miners should post audited data of the renewable energy they possibly use in order to ease concerns over the digital asset’s impact on the environment.
“I agree that this can be done over time, but recent extreme energy usage growth could not possibly have been done so fast with renewables. This question is easily resolved if the top 10 hashing orgs just post audited numbers of renewable energy vs not,” Musk said in a tweet responding to a tweet from Ark Invest’s director of research, Brett Winton, about bitcoin mining encouraging the adoption of renewables.
Ethereum says its blockchain – which powers the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world, ETH, as well as much of the recent rise in NFTs – will be moving from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, a less energy consuming and more environmental friendly mining system, “in the upcoming months”, according to a blog post from the foundation that runs it. The aim is to lower its mining energy and mitigate its impact on the environment. Many other cryptocurrencies are also working to switch to Proof-of-stake.
The move, if followed by other cryptocurrencies, will take the concentration of China, giving other countries a chance to increase their mining activities. Chinese mining pools control more than 60% of the Bitcoin network’s collective hashrate largely due to cheap electricity.
With proof-of-stake, many countries worried about the energy consumption of bitcoin mining and its environmental impact will likely tolerate mining activities, thereby minimizing the huge influence of China on the cryptocurrency market.
Although the growing influence of cryptocurrency is rattling many governments, pushing them to make abrupt rules hurting the market’s growth, the future doesn’t seem perpetually dark. Uptick in institutional investments, crypto bull ideas like NFT, adjustments and corrections in this dark period of the cryptocurrency market show that there is light at the end of the tunnel.