Altcoins continue to get hammered. Meanwhile, BTC is plodding along steadily in a sideways direction, the bulls trying to break to new 2019 highs, but not having the power to overcome the bears who could plunge prices back towards $8000. The old 5 August chart (shown below) from THIS POST is still valid from the bearish perspective. I consider the market to be in favour of the bears at the moment, so this is still the chart which I am basing my own BTC buying prices on.
What we are watching is the interplay of market cycles. Lately I have found myself discussing market cycles in the comments sections of various posts on multiple platforms.
I would like to thank CryptosDecrypted in particular for inspiring this post. If you read his post titled “The Sunday Recap – Down the Rabbit Hole 42“, you will see that he chats a bit about market cycles, a chat which we continued in the comments section of that post. Incidentally you can follow him on Twitter if you don’t already do so. He’s a quality crypto analyst and blogger, so I recommend that you keep an eye on what he has to say: https://twitter.com/GordonBuckley3
Bitcoin price moves in cycles. Altcoin prices move in cycles – generally together and closely tied to that of Bitcoin. The major financial markets of the world move in cycles. In his blog post, CD remarked:
“My two cents – we are a full economic cycle from BTC (and only BTC) becoming established as a reliable counterweight to global market corrections.”
That got me thinking a bit, to the point that I believe I must share my own views on the topic (hence this post). Note: I’m not saying that CD is wrong, his opinion carries weight and is probably at least as valid as my own. Realise that none of us analysts own a working crystal ball, we all just call what we observe as best we can. Here is my take on it:
I doubt that we’ve seen a proper global stock market crash since The Great Depression. Bear (pun intended) with me here: I realise that the 2008 crash is spoken about in hallowed tones. But 2008 was akin to a failed suicide attempt: a dramatic cry for help, but a cry which averted the disaster. You see: the markets bounced straight back. The reason that we don’t call it “The Great Depression II” is that it was nowhere near that scale or duration. Yes, it has absolutely had a lasting effect on some asset classes, look at precious metals for instance, but the fiat based assets recovered and moved on!
We must now ask the “How?” and “Why?” questions. The answer is not pretty.
Zooming out on the situation and looking in retrospect, we can observe how fiat saved itself. Contrary to reason and sound financial practice, solid assets – good stores of value – were sacrificed in order to prop up the failing fiat house-of-cards. As analogies go, I don’t think you can do better then comparing fiat money to a house-of-cards. Ironically, the booming housing market played a role in the last “crash”, ironic because property is typically a good store of value. Regardless of the cause, the markets took a big dip, but they were prevented from crashing entirely. Governments stepped in to protect their house-of-cards from being blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. Unfortunately for them, there was no Big Bad Wolf. All there was was a very shaky arrangement of unbacked fiat-based derivatives built on top of an unbacked fiat money system.
The markets dipped simply because investors were no longer confident that what they held was worth what the markets said it was worth. That’s bad. That means that the fiat foundation of the house-of-cards has cracked. But fear not! The government came along and applied liberal doses of Quantitative Easing plaster and patched over the cracks. Then they painted it with a big tin of debt coloured paint, the special kind which contains micro-particles of Fractional Reserve Banking.
So we’re all living in the same house-of-cards which we lived in a decade ago, only now it is much MUCH bigger, is covered in considerably more debt, contains a wealth of inefficient private entities which should have died (but which were bailed-out with public funds), and is generally looking about as sturdy as a crowbar made of cheese.
The reason this matters is because the really big crash has not been avoided, it’s been delayed. A healthy corrective crash – a correction which would have weeded out much of the unsustainable fiat rot – was prevented from occurring. What has happened is that the market’s have been set up to fail, far more than they ever would have a decade ago if they had just been allowed to crash organically.
That matters too.
That matters because it means something very important to us: There is no precedent for what will happen next.
We can talk about market cycles, but we will be kidding ourselves. What happens next will break new ground. Our best bet will be to look at what happened during the Great Depression. But even that was almost a century ago and in a very different world – there is only so much that we can take from that example. 2008 may look big to us, but that’s only because we don’t have something bigger to benchmark it against. We haven’t seen a proper crash since the establishment of Bretton Woods. That caused an upset of its own, but that was just the market reestablishing its footing at the time. Everything since then has been a mini-crash or a temporary correction, much like 2008 – fiat has yet to fail, so far it has not been allowed to do so in an unrestricted fashion.
Look at the cryptocurrency market of 2008. that was a crash, a proper crash. All the little altcoins that should no longer exist due to poor management, lack of funds, lack of performance or just poor marketing – they were wiped out. Nobody bailed them out, and the altcoin world is now far stronger for it. The fiat markets took the exact opposite approach, they did the equivalent of bailing out the shitcoins which should have died, be it the tiny little ones or BITCONNNEEEEEEECCCCTTT!!! itself!
Take home point: the market cycles may well soon “break” and behave unpredictably. The current system is an unsustainable house-of-cards. Something has to give, and when it does, it will definitely have enormous repercussions.
End of Part 1
Let that sink in a little. In Part 2 we will look at crypto cycles – BTC and the altcoins. Then we will determine if and how these cycles may influence one another.
Yours in crypto
“The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first”
~ Mark Twain
“Crypto does not require institutional investment to succeed; institutions require crypto investments to remain successful”
~ Bit Brain