Wasnt 2018 supposed to be the highly anticipated new year we were all waiting for? What happened? 2018 started off with a bang that shook nations around the world. Since the BTC price shot up in 2017, it was almost as if everyone and their mother heard about cryptocurrency markets. Be that as it may, this hype didn’t last until the end of the year. In fact, the entire cryptocurrency market lost 84%, and around $700 Billion left the crypto space.
Moons and Lambos galore. At least that’s what everyone was chanting during the beginning of January as many crypto assets were hitting their all-time highs. However, all things must come to an end eventually. As a result, January 7th was the turning point for the cryptocurrency market. Following this date, the total market capitalization peaked at $830 billion. From then up until now, we have been experiencing a bear market. The bears pretty much pushed cryptocurrency assets to the lowest level they’ve been in 16 months.
Following this, waves of both new and experienced traders dropped their crypto assets and left the crypto space with burnt fingers. The only people who came out unscathed at the end of 2018 is the people who invested in early 2017 (or before then). Oh, and don’t forget the HODLers. They’ve been clutching onto the hope of better times in the future since the beginning.
While there are many possibilities for the crypto price crash, one-factor people believe was a catalyst was the Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange hack. Coincheck lost over $500 Million worth of cryptocurrency and the community spotlight turned to exchange security. Thus, this also triggered the urgency for mass regulation of these exchanges. In February, Bitcoin had already shed over 60% of the value it once had during its peak of ~$20,000. By March, it became clear that a large number of the ICO’s that started in late 2017 would never reach their goals. As well as this, the G20 Financial Stability Board decided that cryptocurrency is NOT a threat to the global banking system. While many thought this would have given a boost to the cryptocurrency industry at the time, it became apparent that nothing could change the trend.
In April, rumors about big institutional players Nasdaq and Goldman Sachs were reported to be stepping into the crypto space. This actually caused a jump in market capitalization despite no confirmation from wall street at the time. Social Media has a huge roll in the crypto space. Because of this, Facebook and Google’s decision to ban all cryptocurrency related advertising in June was extremely strange. Especially when both of them were still allowing criminals to deploy their cryptocurrency scams on their platforms. Despite this, both of these social media giants have since lifted their bans on cryptocurrency advertisements.
Blockchain and crypto companies raised over $4B from traditional VCs in 2018 (not counting $7.5B raised in ICOs). This includes the most successful & experienced tech VCs of all time. Smart money doesn’t plan to lose. Are you taking advantage of this opportunity? #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/PbIu9QqIzG
— Bitfi (@Bitfi6) February 1, 2019
In August, the US SEC gave their heavy-handed approach to cryptocurrency regulations. Following this, 9 separate crypto ETF applications were rejected. One of these applications were even from the Winklevoss twins, managers of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange.
By September – October, the cryptocurrency market began to level out, consolidating in a range around $220 Billion. In October, the legendary Bitcoin whitepaper by ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ turned 10 years old. Many people rejoiced and celebrated how far Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general, has come, despite all the FUD spread about it regarding Bitcoin’s valuation and scams etc. But of course, good things never last long. Following the 10 year anniversary, we walked into what many now call ‘the crypto winter’.
Apparently, ‘this winter was so cold’, that even when institutional big leagues Bakkt and Fidelity entered the fray; neither of them could make a dent in the downward trend the cryptocurrency markets were experiencing. As a result, November was the worst month for cryptocurrencies in 2018. In just this month alone, 50% of the market was shed in just a matter of weeks.
By the time we got to December, the cryptocurrency markets were at their lowest level of the whole year. Consequently, the crypto markets shed $100 billion on the 15th of December. Crypto angst spread through the community due to FUD fueled headlines that mainstream media pushed. Large cryptocurrency firms such as Bitmain and ConsenSys began firing their employees due to financial pressure and the industry began to feel the cold of the crypto winter.
But that was mainly in the west. During 2018, a large number of nations all over the world began to welcome the crypto industry despite others continuing to disregard or even ban it. Some of the countries that were most accommodating for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects were: Malta, Dubai, Africa, Singapore, Estonia, and Hong Kong.
Despite this, many U.S. regulators still stood indifferent on their crypto stance during this period. Meanwhile, in China, all efforts were made to eradicate anything crypto/blockchain related. Following them not far behind, India’s Central Bank began preparations for a full ban on cryptocurrency.
South Korea and Japan thought differently. They decided to stay open-minded about blockchain technology and continued to develop their regulatory frameworks. This was mainly to protect investor interests and ensure the security of crypto assets. Large crypto industry players such as Binance, Coinbase and more have also grown despite the current market environment.
The investment money is returning back to the norm of difficult to obtain. I think the ‘winter’ is greatly exaggerated. We are just back to normal behaviors. – Brayton Williams, Co-Founder of Boost VC.
Despite the FUD being spread, the main events we’ve seen during 2018 are the weak hands letting go. Many people joined the crypto bandwagon during its 2017 bubble and lost out because they didn’t look into anything more than the price charts. Crypto is new, and we’ve been here before. Just because the cryptocurrency market isn’t constantly going up making everyone rich, doesn’t mean it will never happen. People are constantly developing cryptocurrency projects all over the world to make it more accessible for people to use.
If you’re in a country with a stable fiat currency, the volatility of cryptocurrency would be too much for you to use as a store of value. But if you’re from a developing country with an unstable fiat currency, (Zimbabwe, Venezuela etc.) then cryptocurrency gives you the ability to be your own bank and operate within your own means. The main thing we’ve seen in 2018 when we look past the price, is the development of accessibility to cryptocurrency in countries all over the world.
What do you think about how 2018 went? Do you think it was a good year or a bad year for crypto? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
This article is intended to educate and should in no way be seen as investment advice or an enticement to use the ice3x.com platform. Bitcoin is highly volatile with big profit opportunities but you should also remember that you could lose part or all of your investment whenever you take part in any high risk investment. Bitcoin trading is not a regulated industry in South Africa, which in itself carries additional risks. IF YOU ARE NOT AN ASTUTE BITCOIN TRADER, SEEK INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENTS.