Bitcoin - the truly scarce digital object which had the world talking. Looking past its inherent qualities, however, most of the people are mainly interested in Bitcoin’s price, perhaps somewhat rightfully so. Despite its many benefits over traditional fiat currencies, the unfortunate truth is that today, Bitcoin is mainly used for speculative purposes.
Trading Bitcoin became especially popular following its parabolic move back in 2017. From a price of around $800 at the beginning of the year, Bitcoin reached an astronomical all-time high of $20,000 in December.
Even though Bitcoin was discussed a lot before that, 2017 was the year that left an imprint on the mainstream audience. Suddenly, everybody got into trading Bitcoin. Data from Google supports it.
Trading Bitcoin In 2017: What Was It Actually Like?
As we’ve already mentioned, 2017 was an unprecedented year for Bitcoin’s price. After all, it’s not every day that we see an asset growing by 2400% in less than a year.
There are a few key moments that have to be outlined, though. Starting off, January in 2017 was marked by a rather negative event. China, being one of the most predominant economic centers in the world, decided to start tightening its oversight over the country’s Bitcoin exchanges. It’s worth noting that back then, they were rather dominant. Namely, these were OKCoin, Huobi, and BTCC.
The Beijing office of the People’s Bank of China issued a statement that warned that Bitcoin is not a currency and that it shouldn’t be viewed as such. Back then this caused a drop in the trading volume but the price didn’t really react negatively.
Following up was another painful event for Bitcoin. In March 2017, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected the Bitcoin ETF proposition of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Bitcoin’s price dropped by as much as 30% almost immediately after.
Nevertheless, what came next was the “bullish summer”. This is, perhaps, the term that best describes Bitcoin’s price action during that time.
The cryptocurrency went on to achieve a new all-time high, climbing above $2,000 and surpassing $3,000 a few short weeks after in from May to September.
BTC/USD 2017. Source: TradingView
By mid-October, the price of the cryptocurrency managed to reclaim $5,000. What followed was a global crackdown on unregulated ICOs which only proved the bullish sentiment. Despite the backlash of negative news, the price went on to surge what is currently its all-time high value of around $20,000 reached in December 2017.
Unfortunately, the hype turned out to be too much and we saw a prolonged bear market that lasted all the way through 2018. During last year and the first three months of 2019, Bitcoin lost around $17,000 and dropped to a little above $3,000 in November 2018.
Bitcoin’s Price in 2019: A Reminder Of The Past?
The million-dollar question is if 2019 can turn out to be just as profitable as 2017 when it comes to trading Bitcoin. Well, for once, we already saw a massive run-up which surely got the hype going once again.
However, looking at 2019 in retrospect, even though the year is still not through, we can see some tremendous differences. Of course, there are both good and bad developments, so let’s have a look.
First of all, the infrastructure built around Bitcoin got notably better. Not only are there many more cryptocurrency trading exchanges, but there are also some platforms that are brought forward by notable institutional players in traditional finance.
In terms of institutions stepping in, the most prominent event was probably the launch of Bakkt - the Bitcoin futures trading platform of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). The latter also owns the New York Stock Exchange. While the platform has seen a disappointingly small volume of trading Bitcoin, it’s an important infrastructural step mainly because it offers a physical settlement. This means that traders will receive an actual Bitcoin rather than its cash equivalent once their futures contract expires.
Bitcoin’s network is also looking increasingly stronger, as the hashrate is surging past its former all-time highs regularly.
As we said, though, there is also some bad news. The SEC is continuously clamping down on different cryptocurrency-related projects, mostly ICOs who failed to abide by their existing regulations. Moreover, we saw other Bitcoin ETF proposals refused.
From a sheer price perspective, however, Bitcoin has marked a notable improvement since the beginning of the year.
BTC/USD 2019. Source: TradingView
As you can see, the price surged to as high as $14,000 in the summer. Even though it’s down about 45% since then, it’s still up more than 100% since the beginning of the year.
Now, it’s absolutely impossible to predict whether or not Bitcoin will end the year with a parabolic move like back in 2017. If one thing is for sure, however, it’s that the cryptocurrency, as well as the entire industry, has improved notably since then.
In any case, it’s worth noting that engaging the cryptocurrency market, in general, is risky. Volatility is notoriously high and any attempt to trade should be very well-measured and timed. It’s highly advisable to be aware of some important Bitcoin trading tips before starting, in order to ensure that your capital is protected.
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