Is Bitcoin in a Bear Market? Experts Aren’t Sure

By Mathew Di Salvo

Bitcoin, trading right now at around $32,000, is down 9.4% in the past 24 hours and 20% in the past week, according to Nomic. It’s even down 2% since the beginning of the year. Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, has fallen 12.5% in the past day and nearly 24% in a week. And even buoyant meme currencies are in decline, with Dogecoin shedding 33% of its value in 24 hours.

Do these drops mean that we’re heading into another crypto winter? Experts have responded with a resounding “maybe.”

Today, Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, which provides data for investors, tweeted that the Bitcoin bear market “was confirmed” because big investors (known as whales) were sending their investments to exchanges.

I hate to say this, but it seems like the $BTC bear market confirmed.

Too many whales are sending $BTC to exchanges. https://t.co/DgmLukP4NU pic.twitter.com/AWJ8oVSUkQ

— Ki Young Ju 주기영 (@ki_young_ju) June 21, 2021

He later told Decrypt that “when whale inflow prevails, the market is likely to be bearish historically” but added that perhaps it was “more like a series of corrections that would last a few weeks.”

Analyst Alex Kruger agreed, telling Decrypt today that what we are witnessing is “definitively a bear market.” He noted: “Only positive thing on the horizon is the fact that everyone is extremely bearish,” and that “it could be worse.” Though he did add that there was “no single definition of what constitutes a bear market”—a point that Charles Bovaird, vice president of content at Quantum Economics also made.

Pedro Febrero, head of blockchain at crypto fantasy marketplace RealFevr and analyst at Quantum Economics, on the other hand, believes it’s too early to say whether the bear market was here. “I don’t think so,” he told Decrypt. “At least not yet. Give it a few weeks, let’s see.”

The crypto market has taken a beating since last month when it suffered its worst pullback in history: $500 billion was wiped off in a flash. Since then Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have suffered. Yet some analysts have remained positive and told Decrypt that the price correction was actually overdue. Fred Pye, the CEO of Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) 3iQ, said that Bitcoin’s massive gains over the last year were “not humanly unsustainable.”

But Bitcoin has continued to gradually dip ever since, with some investors selling their holdings.

Despite this, lots of money is still being poured into this space. Matt Aaron, co-founder of UniWhales, an app that tracks big DeFi transactions, told Decrypt that the crypto industry is looking more like the internet in its early stages, and that it was too difficult to know about which way the market was going.

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“We’re used to it [the market] going violently up and down—extreme volatility,” he said. “But if you look at the internet growth after 2001, with real world adoption, which we are closer to now than ever, maybe it will be more like that, going up gradually, year after year.”