Bitcoin “Bull Run” incoming? Bull and Bear factors

Prices of Bitcoin (BTC) reached an all-time high of over USD$19k in December 2017 and there is a lot of discussion and speculation on what triggers the price and when this “bull run” will happen again. So we took a look at the Bull or Bear factors which may point to an imminent bull run in 2020?

“Bull run” incoming? (8:00 onwards)

Bitcoin bull market factors/reasons?

PayPal Announcement

The PayPal announcement of supporting crypto transactions for their customers has come as a huge boost of positivity to the crypto space, especially in the West. With a humongous user and merchant base, the crypto community hopes for better adoption through the payment platform.

But is the Paypal announcement really a good thing? Check out Cryptonauts’ take in their video “Crypto Comes to Paypal! Good or Bad?” to find out more:

Crypto Comes to Paypal! Good or Bad?

Institutional investors coming into crypto?

Major investments from publicly traded companies like MicroStrategy and Square Inc has also led the Bitcoin price to fly high. However, the institutional investors might have aggregated the bull rally, but it is not the main reason. From our research and actually speaking to people in the frontlines, such as over the counter trading desks like Genesis Block, there are more institutional investors registered for crypto accounts. However, they are still waiting for the right opportunities to buy in.

US election uncertainty

Many see the US Presidential Elections as very polarising, particularly due to the vastly differing stances of the 2 candidates. So right now the whole world is waiting to see the outcome and how it will affect the markets generally. We also found that whether people think Trump or Biden winning is actually good for the markets (and their rationale for this) differs depending on which region they are from.

To really get a feel of the sentiment towards the US elections, we sometimes look at FTX Exchange’s US 2020 Elections contracts because the non-US investors in these contracts are really “putting their money where their mouth is”.

Though there is also some viewpoints being put forward that whether Trump or Biden wins is still going to be good for crypto.

Covid-19 pandemic

As discussed by many, the pandemic created a huge gap in the country’s economy, but Bitcoin and the crypto world remained less affected. Many investors were attracted to Bitcoin as they felt it as an asset which they can rely upon. And with people are stuck at home all day, some may look into trading to pass the time.

Bitcoin bear market factors/reasons?

On the other side, there may be reasons or red flags that will make people bearish: –

China is bearish?

There seems to be some negativity around Bitcoin in China with news that some bank accounts relating to cryptocurrencies were being shut down. The recent detention of OKEx’s Star Xu by authorities and suspension of withdrawals is also worrying to many in Asia.

The People’s Daily have also published an article on 3rd November 2020 authored by Shan Zhiguang, Chairman of the Blockchain Service Network (BSN) which has further worried Chinese cryptocurrency enthusiasts (see the translation posted by Matthew Graham). The article states that a person may be charged with money laundering if: (1) someone buys cryptocurrencies using RMB and sells the cryptocurrencies for any foreign currency; or (2) uses any foreign currency to purchase cryptocurrencies outside of China, and subsequently sells the cryptocurrencies for RMB. This is irrespective of how many intermediate transactions were involved. A Chinese citizen may also be charged with money laundering if they knowingly sell the cryptocurrencies they hold to someone so as to assist them to illegally move funds in or out of China.

Yet the article states that any Chinese citizen that sells any cryptocurrency in exchange for any fiat currency must declare personal income tax to the authorities if the transaction results in a profit. Anyone who fails to do this could be charged with tax evasion.

Bear reasons already factored into prices?

Rumors or discussions leaning towards a bear market have already been circulating for a while in the crypto discussion groups. For example, reasons some people may feel bearish over the Paypal or DCEP news have already been discussed repeatedly in this space. Considering there is no new news on this right now, any negativity would have already been factored into the current price of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies.

No new blood (at least not like in 2017 anyway)

Back in 2017 there were a lot of newcomers, we observed this when we see just how many people were eagerly asking relatively beginner questions. We do not really see this yet and so it seems that the cryptocurrencies adoption rate in 2020 is much slower vs 2017.

Don’t get us wrong, there are newcomers. We already saw lots of people buying Bitcoin using the ATMs inside Genesis Block (because they take more money). But there are no crazy lines of people with suitcases outside Genesis Block waiting for them to open like in 2017. This insanity was mostly caused by the “Kimchi premium”, where prices of Bitcoin in Korea were much higher than in Hong Kong. So what we saw were Koreans flying into Hong Kong with large amounts of cash in the morning, buying Bitcoin at Genesis Block, and catching a flight back to Korea in the evening.

Another surprising indicator are sales for Ledger cryptocurrency hardware wallets using our affiliate code. We definitely noticed a significant uptick in sales recently, but definitely not as much as in 2017.

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) and Yield Farming bubble

A couple of months before, the crypto space became familiar with the term DeFi where many Bitcoiners turned into Yield Farmers. The promotions of DeFi and Yield Farming projects have definitely escalated as of late, to the point where some promotions and people urging others to go “all in” can be quite aggressive. This is a concerning sign because it makes you wonder if they are desperately trying to get you to buy so they can sell.

Scam projects/ rug pulls

The immense rally of the DeFi space led to the initiation of many scam projects or “rug pulls”. Some of them just crashed hours after launch with developers or hackers running away with people’s funds. Cointelegraph had also recently interviewed me for an article on this topic of Escalating DeFi scams tarnishing the crypto yield farming market niche.

Confusion within Asia?

Regulatory clarity is important in any region. China has been pushing the message that Bitcoin and Ethereum are two of the best assets on national television. Yet as we have seen earlier in this article, cracking down and closing cryptocurrency associated accounts, taking in the founder of OKEx for investigation and the recent article from the People’s Daily on how dealing with cryptocurrencies may constitute a crime may cause confusion amongst the public. Ultimately this confusion may also adversely affect the crypto space.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency trading involves significant risks and may result in the loss of your capital. You should carefully consider whether trading cryptocurrencies is right for you in light of your financial condition and ability to bear financial risks. Cryptocurrency prices are highly volatile and can fluctuate widely in a short period of time. As such, trading cryptocurrencies may not be suitable for everyone. Additionally, storing cryptocurrencies on a centralized exchange carries inherent risks, including the potential for loss due to hacking, exchange collapse, or other security breaches. We strongly advise that you seek independent professional advice before engaging in any cryptocurrency trading activities and carefully consider the security measures in place when choosing or storing your cryptocurrencies on a cryptocurrency exchange.

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Vivian is a Web3 Correspondent with a passion for blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize the world. She has been covering the space since 2018, writing articles and giving talks on the subject. Vivian is particularly interested in how blockchain can be used to create more equitable and secure systems of governance and finance. She has a degree in computer science and has worked with several startups in the space.