Bitcoin: How’s 2021 Different Than The 2017 Bull?


Traders have been waiting for three years for Bitcoin to climb back to the same price range it was before the crash in 2017. In 2017, Bitcoin’s rally was the talk of the town. Driven by FOMO sentiment, people who previously weren’t skeptical about cryptocurrencies flocked to the crypto market, which further pushed the Bitcoin price to $19,900. The victory was short-lived though, for the bubble soon burst and Bitcoin stayed below $12,000 ever since.  

Many investors still remember those days, and naturally, many are afraid that Bitcoin’s recent rally will be just like last time. But some factors tell us that the 2021 bull run may differ from 2017’s. 

Unlike the 2017 short-lived bubble which was driven by retail investors, Bitcoin’s recent gain is clearly supported by institutional investors and even government sectors. What initiated the adoption was JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan Chase has shown interest in Bitcoin since October, calling a “doubling or tripling” in price, should the uptrend sustain. It was reported that JPMorgan Chase has started providing banking services to Coinbase and Gemini exchanges. Before the support, its CEO Jamie Dimon had called Bitcoin a “scam” for several years. 

Institutional giants such as Square Inc, Paypal, and Grayscale have also sent positive signals for adopting bitcoin, which in turn boost investors’ confidence that bitcoin could act as a diversifier in times of uncertainty. Whales have flocked to the party – addresses holding at least 1,000 BTC rose to four-year highs at the end of October. Much of the newly-mined Bitcoin is held by whales, making the supply of Bitcoin getting more scarce.

Bitcoin could be one of the few things to benefit from the pandemic. To boost the economy, stimulus packages and bolder economic policies will add fuel to inflation. While traditional investors turn to gold to hedge against inflation, millennials favor Bitcoin and altcoins. Besides, in history, pandemics usually accelerate the adoption of new payment tools. “We’ve seen that in just the same way that the use of coins as money was accelerated by the Black Death. Payments in kind were yielding to a cash economy in Europe, and this was accelerated in the 1340s,” economic historian Niall Ferguson commented that the COVID-19 has reinforced the idea that Bitcoin is an ideal quasi-digital gold among investors. The fall in liquidity, coming inflation, and global uncertainties are some of the factors that could boost Bitcoin higher in 2021. 

Garrick Hileman, head of research at Blockchain.com, shares his view that Bitcoin could hit $54,000 in 2021: “My expectation is that bitcoin will become a trillion-dollar asset as early as next year.” Hileman’s prediction is based on wider adoption led by institutional investors, with the number of people owning cryptocurrencies exceeding 100 million. 

“It is easy for me to see bitcoin being at $50,000 next year,” famous hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz shares the sentiment, saying Bitcoin could outshine gold in the next few years. 

Although the market remains generally hopeful despite Bitcoin price’s recent retracements, that is not to say we can enter the market blindly. Cryptocurrency markets are notable for their high volatility as there are fewer players and less liquidity compared with traditional markets. When the market is overheated, it is time to exercise caution and prepare for corrections. 

Either way, you can earn profits by shorting or longing the cryptocurrency while applying leverage to enhance your exposure. 

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Bexplus is one of the few exchanges that offer a free demo account, which puts you through its rules and trading widgets. Inside the demo account is 10 BTC for traders to practice and try out strategies as much as they like. 

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