The crypto market has experienced a surprising turnaround in 2023, with a surge in prices that has left many market participants optimistic about the future. While the start of the year was marked by little hope of a revival in the market, events have taken a turn for the better, with increasing optimism for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the upcoming BTC halving, and positive market sentiment.
Based on data, it appears like a bull market in cryptocurrencies began in 2023 and is expected to last until 2024. The global crypto market cap is currently $1.69 trillion, up 112% over the last 12 months. The increase has been accompanied by leaps in the prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and many other altcoins.
THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND THE CRYPTO SURGE
The recent surge in cryptocurrency prices results from several driving forces, including the rising expectation of approving a spot Bitcoin ETF, the successful Ethereum network upgrade in Shanghai, and the approaching Bitcoin halving event— which is less than 180 days away.
THE US MARKET AND THE BITCOIN ETF
Turning our attention to the US market, discussions about Bitcoin ETFs are steadily increasing. According to Bloomberg’s ETF analysis, the odds of approving a spot BTC ETF by January 10— the final statutory deadline set by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for judgment on some of the applications— are estimated to be 90%. If the SEC authorizes it, such an ETF might attract additional institutional capital, consequently raising the prices of other cryptocurrencies alongside bitcoin.
PROMINENT BITCOIN BACKERS ON THE RISE
Furthermore, prominent Bitcoin backers are demonstrating their faith in cryptocurrency by expanding their holdings. Glassnode’s on-chain data reveals a reversal in the trend, with long-term investors continuing to increase their holdings due to their optimism about the possibility of a Bitcoin bull run. This trend reversal, observed in every market cycle, involves a clear accumulation of holders until a local price peak emerges, prompting holders to sell in large volumes to realize gains.
WHALE ACCUMULATION AND MARKET PINNACLE
Notably, large price increases have typically been preceded by accumulation from Bitcoin “whales” or entities holding at least 1,000 BTC. The Accumulation Trend Score for Bitcoin, currently at 1 as shown in the chart below based on Glassnode’s study released on November 27, indicates that whale entities— accounting for a major fraction of the network— are generally getting bigger. This ongoing accumulation suggests that the market for cryptocurrencies, in general, and the flagship coin specifically, has not yet reached its pinnacle.
HISTORICAL TRENDS AND BULLISH CYCLES
Examining historical trends, the price movements of bitcoin frequently exhibit cyclical patterns. Scholars have noted resemblances between past and present price trends, hinting at the possibility of a bullish cycle akin to those witnessed in 2013 and 2017. Previous Bitcoin bull runs have typically followed four-year cycles triggered by events such as supply reward halving, which reduces the rate at which miners can create and earn new Bitcoin. The next halving event is scheduled for the spring of 2024, but bull runs usually commence months in advance and last until the price of Bitcoin reaches a new record high.
RISING MARKET SENTIMENT: FEAR AND GREED INDEX
Moreover, market sentiment continues to rise, as evidenced by the Crypto Fear and Greed Index standing at a notable score of 73— indicating prevailing “greed” in the market. This index has consistently remained above the 50 marks for the better part of 2023, signifying the positive sentiment that market players hold for the wider crypto market. This pattern in market sentiment may portend an impending bull run, historically preceding price gains. Notably, the index last reached this level of greed in November 2021 when Bitcoin achieved its all-time high price of $69,000.
TECHNICAL INDICATORS REFLECTING BULLISH SENTIMENT
Technical indicators also align with traders’ bullish sentiment, as total crypto market capitalization broke above the 50-week exponential moving average (EMA) at $1.1 trillion on Oct. 23. Buyers have potentially set their target on the April 2022 range high at $2.168 trillion— an expected average 33% gain across the market. If purchasers establish stability beyond the $1.75 trillion threshold with favorable volume, the three-month-long upward trend may continue until 2024.
In conclusion, the data suggests that a crypto bull market commenced in 2023 and is poised to continue throughout 2024. The rising hopes for a spot Bitcoin ETF approval, the successful Shanghai upgrade for the Ethereum network, and the upcoming BTC halving event collectively drive prices higher. Market sentiment is on the rise, with significant Bitcoin stakeholders showing confidence in BTC by increasing their holdings. Additionally, technical indicators reflect traders’ bullish sentiment as total crypto market capitalization breaks above key resistance levels. As we head into the next year with optimism, we anticipate continued growth in this exciting space!