If recent developments in the cryptocurrency market have taught us anything, it’s that there's no such thing as a guaranteed investment. For all the technological wizardry that goes on behind the scenes, all the hundreds of potential applications of blockchain technology, and the consistent (and often wildly inaccurate) trumpeting of future patterns of growth by newly-Christened altcoin evangelists, digital currencies are really no different from any other commodity.
Most people who spend any time studying the market are already aware of this, of course, or soon become so, particularly if they have a fundamental understanding of how financial markets in the real world operate. The patterns are easy enough to see, if you have an eye for them – the familiar rise and fall in the value of individual assets, often trending upwards, a sudden spike in interest, and the inevitable drop as more wary investors bail out.
In financial terms, when an asset or commodity does well (as altcoins did at the end of last year) these are referred to as bull markets
. Prices increase day-on-day, there is a constant influx of new money and new investment, and the mainstream media begins to take notice outside of the financial pages. This prompts would-be investors to try their hand at it, thus prompting more speculation. It’s generally seen as a good time to get involved, especially if you can hit it at the beginning of a cycle.
The flipside is what is known as bear markets, where the price keeps trending downwards, with no sign of respite as investors and traders keep on shedding their stock to anyone who will buy, often at a hugely discounted rate of what they originally bought them for.
The point is that, despite the recent decline, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and all the other major players in the digital currency scene are far from a freefall. This is merely the dip prior to another rise in value and, given the traditional volatility of the marketplace, this rise could happen in a month, or a week, or within 24 hours. There really is no way of knowing – that’s why it’s called speculation, after all – but canny investors should be on the lookout for altcoins returning to a bull market in the very near future.
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