For all intents and purposes, 2018 has been a bad year for cryptocurrencies. Following the exorbitant highs of 2017, the bears have ravaged the value of almost every major coin on the market. You’ll inevitably have come across more than one story about a digital token’s value falling. Perhaps the most obvious example is Ethereum (ETH). Although the price of Bitcoin (BTC) has seen the greatest actual fall from grace, that’s only because it had further to fall. As we close 2018, BTC is still the top-ranked crypto by a large margin. Ethereum, however, has slipped from its number two spot and, perhaps more worryingly, started to lose the support of the community too.
Ethereum Slump Sums Up Crypto Market’s 2018
Despite co-founder Vitalik Buterin moving to reassure investors that improvements are coming in the form of Ethereum 2.0, the value of an ETH token has fallen from $1,100+ at the start of the year to just over $110 at the end. While few would question the technical prowess of the team behind Ethereum, two forces appear to be suppressing its value. Lack of action and, in the case of a proposed hard fork, failed action have hurt the digital currency’s credibility. On top of that, the bearish sentiment across the crypto industry as a whole has compounded the project’s internal problems.
However, as a Forbes article has pointed out, the latter point may not be as significant as some would have us believe. Tracking the price of Bitcoin over the last three weeks in December, Charles Bovaird found that its value was 25% higher now than it was at its lowest point in 2019 ($3,929 vs. $3,122). Supporting Bovaird’s idea that the bulls may be starting to run in favour of the crypto market, Joe DiPasquale, CEO of BitBull Capital, has pointed to a change in public sentiment. With the hype of 2017 all but forgot and subsequent FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) subsiding, people appear to be rediscovering the potential benefits of Bitcoin. Indeed, we already know that buy rates in the UK are up. What’s more, BTC in India is starting to gather pace.
Are People Falling in Love with Cryptos Again?
Social media sentiments are positive.
According to data gathered by TheTIE.io, 66% of tweets mentioning Bitcoin at the end of 2018 were positive. What’s more, news stories and mentions of BTC were all positive in the closing weeks of the year. Adding to this, DiPasquale noted that Mark Dow has closed his short position on Bitcoin following a break at the $3,000 support level. For those tracking one of the leading investors, that suggests that bearish feelings have given way to bullish ones. While analysts are naturally cautious about the latest market moves, the signs are there that growth is on the way. However, what will be interesting to see in 2019 is how far this change of attitude stretches.
Will Bitcoin raise all tides or will other coins such as ETH continue to sink? In many respects, 2019 has the potential to surpass 2018 in terms of overall market performance. However, those with a negative view would say that isn’t much of an achievement given how poor the last 12 months have been. What is clear is that next year is likely to be less volatile, something which could attract more investors and, in turn, turn a bearish market into a bullish one.
*Information in this article should not be taken as investment advice.
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