&l;p&g;The cryptocurrency market has fallen under intense pressure during Q1 of 2018, with Bitcoin down just over 50% from the start of the year. Many Altcoins have also seen their fair share of declines, with the biggest losers correcting upwards of 90% from all-time highs. Q1 was packed with action and drama including exchange hacks, exchange suspensions, increased regulation from China, Mt. Gox Bitcoin selling, tax talks, and SEC meetings in the United States. Uncertainty flooded the market due to these events with many cryptocurrency investors unsure if governments would ban cryptocurrencies outright, or just tighten up regulations in regard to initial coin offerings (ICOs).
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Now smaller market cap crypto projects could soon be facing liquidity issues, preventing investors from selling out of their positions. The cryptocurrency market is fairly illiquid as is, and these steep declines do not help, should many investors choose to leave the market and close their positions.
Looking back in history, Q2 is often met with more optimism and bullish sentiment in comparison to Q1. Even more so now that we have many things to look forward to including Bitcoin ETF&a;rsquo;s, and most notably, the Coinbase Index Fund that will give investors exposure to all digital assets. Exchanges such as &l;a href=&q;https://quoinex.com/&q; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;QUOINEX&l;/a&g;, play an important role by using a bank-grade security system to protect data and assets.
Also, nations such as China seem to be moving in the right direction when it comes to regulation. China has stated that it will soon move in and begin to regulate cryptocurrency as opposed to an outright ban of the digital assets. Moreover, China now has a new blockchain fund with $1.6 billion, something which we have not seen before because 30 percent of the fund is backed by the Hangzhou city government.
With new investment products soon to hit the market, as well as nations around the world legitimatizing cryptocurrency with the talk of crypto taxes and regulations, it is safe to say that further adoption may be closer than we think.&a;nbsp; In addition to the availability of investment products, we also have strong fundamental news to look forward to.
Scalability is a major issue in the cryptocurrency space, and we are seeing solutions in regard to scalability becoming more mature as they prepare to hit the market going into Q2 of 2018. Many are running on TestNets and will soon be deployed to MainNets in the coming months. This will surely shed positive light on the space and solve arguably the largest problem affecting cryptocurrency right now – scalability.
With scalability solutions launching for Bitcoin and other crypto protocols in the near future, more participants will be attracted into the crypto space. This is due to the fact that transaction times will be reduced in addition to the reduction of fees per transaction. This was a large complaint at the height of the bull market, that it was very expensive to send Bitcoin from one wallet to another, discouraging the use for commerce and trade between individuals. With the Bitcoin Lightning Network, we can look forward to faster transaction times and significantly reduced fees, making it easier and more cost-effective. Schnorr Signatures will also be looking to replace Bitcoins&a;rsquo; existing signature method by combining signature data together. This will clear up tons of space in the blockchain which will aid in solving the transaction backlog as well as the high transaction fees.
&l;strong&g;Proof Is In The Pudding &l;/strong&g;
Even more bullish sentiment comes with the fact that many people are losing trust in fiat currency. Places such as Venezuela are going through currency crisis with the United States not exempt from the idea. Many in the United States are catching on to the monumental federal deficits that put the value of the Dollar in jeopardy. Perhaps people may look to a digital store of value such as Bitcoin to act as a hedge against fiat currency alongside commodities such as gold and silver
From a price point of view, looking back in history, we tend to see more positive bullish action in Q2 leading into Q3. Between April and June of 2016, we saw Bitcoin going on a bull run, gaining over 80% to just shy of $800. The same type of price action can be seen again from early April leading into mid-June of 2017, when Bitcoin went on another bull run, this time gaining just over 170%, reaching another all-time high just shy of $3,000.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but perhaps Bitcoin price action may follow its historic trend and pull us out of our current bear market. Currently, technicals are not in favor of bulls with a clear downtrend being shown in Bitcoin. Volume is also very poor on every attempt for bullish action and seems to only give more liquidity for short sellers to capitalize on a hurting crypto market. Bitcoin has also seen what is known as a &a;ldquo;death cross&a;rdquo; when the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day moving average. Many traders view this as a very bearish sign with others believing that the bearish moves have already been priced in, in anticipation for such an event.
Even though many positives are on the horizon in the cryptocurrency space, I still feel as if the current bear market is not over just yet. From a technical standpoint many Altcoins have yet to form accumulation patterns and may be dragged down even further should Bitcoin fall to its next support around $6,000. Recent price increases have been met with little to no volume throughout Q1 of 2018, leading to violent dumps to the downside, most likely due to weak buy side pressure and negative overall market sentiment. As of now, any bullish action seems to be a result of shorts covering their positions and waiting for increased liquidity to re-enter their short positions.
Leading us to where I believe we currently are, the markdown, where supply is greater than demand, causing a sell-off or bear market. Until sell side pressure lets up, I wouldn&s;t be surprised to see Bitcoin continue its downtrend and find support in around $3500-4500, allowing the asset to find solid support and perhaps form an area of accumulation where we can trade range-bound in preparation for the next bull cycle. I expect the price to bounce back really hard if it drops below the $4000 as it would bring a large number of buyers and the Bitcoin price could $35000 by the end of this year or late Q3.
By reducing costs, decreasing transaction times, and implementing ease of use, Bitcoin is looking ripe for an even more powerful bull run than its latest test of $20,000. In 2016 we saw a bullish move of about 80% followed by a similar bullish move in the same time frame of 170%, about double the move from 2016. If we can double the bullish move from 2017 in 2018, we can see a Bitcoin right back at $15,000 and probably even higher due to the maturity and interest sparking in the space. It is very possible that we end the year with close to a $35,000 per Bitcoin.&a;nbsp; I am bullish on the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and understand that we are in the early stages of a technology that may fundamentally change the way we live.
Disclaimer: I hold cryptocurrencies in my wallet&l;/p&g;