After falling precipitously for several weeks, Bitcoin had a good week, stabilizing around the $21,500 mark and gaining 6.2%. That’s the best showing since October, raising hopes the liquidity crunch in cryptocurrency markets is easing.
Traders and investors were encouraged by a decline in the long-term interest rates, which turned risk-on again on Wall Street. For instance, Nasdaq, a market with scores of profitless companies, rose 1.6% for the week.
Then there was talk of the US Treasury developing a framework for regulating cryptocurrencies. That’s something digital currency markets desperately need to instill some confidence in the broad investor community.
But does the rally have legs, or is it just a technical rebound from an oversold position? Experts are divided.
Aaron Samsonoff, co-founder of InvestDEFY, doesn’t think the bear market in cryptocurrencies is over, as we have yet to see capitulation.
“The bear market will only be over once the majority of participants reach the stage of apathy and have given up on the industry, while smart money continues to accumulate from those who have given up,” he told International Business Times in an email. “Week after week, month after month, everybody will start to capitulate, give up, and at that point, BTC prices will start to go up.”
James Key, CEO of Autonomy Network, is bullish in the short term but he doesn’t think the rally will last.
“There will be a short-term rally at some point, but only because you can’t continuously go down forever – a ‘dead cat bounce’ – however, it will be short-lived,” he told IBT in an email. “In previous bull/bear cycles, it’s always a year or so before hitting bottom from the previous peak, and that’s always been with an equities bull market. BTC is seen as an exotic, risky asset to institutions, and now there’s a recession approaching. Institutions de-risk by dumping the riskiest assets first, which is part of the reason BTC has become so correlated to the stock market, meaning any rally will likely be disappointing. This was always the risk of inviting institutions into crypto.”
TheoTrade co-founder Don Kaufman is bearish for the short term.
“No, Bitcoin is not set up for a big rally,” he said in an email. “There still needs to be a shakeup in the crypto market before it’s time to jump in, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bitcoin drop to $13,000.”
But he’s bullish for the long-term.
“Bitcoin is in its infancy, he adds. “Regulation is coming, and it will add stability and a sense to the broader public that crypto is a safe, regulated investment. Also, the maturation of the crypto market to include options and futures will draw serious investors and traders,” he said.
Robert R. Johnson, Professor of Finance at Creighton University, is puzzled by any effort to try to predict the direction of Bitcoin and the existence of the digital currency altogether.
“I have no earthly idea how anyone can develop a cogent case for the near-term direction in the price of Bitcoin,” he told IBT. “There is no way to value these supposed assets fundamentally. Any alleged valuation I have seen of any cryptocurrency has relied on technical analysis. And technical analysis, in conjunction with fundamental analysis, can be insightful. However, technical analysis employed alone can be dangerous.”
And harmful for true believers who see what they wish to see in market charts.