In plain dollar for dollar terms, Bitcoin moved more in terms of price in 2021 alone than its entire history before it. The cryptocurrency closed the year in 2020 with a new high over $20,000, but from the start of 2021 to the high of the year, Bitcoin grew another $45,000 per coin.
It has since dropped more than 50% of that all-time high price, leaving crypto market participants wondering why the crash happened, and if the bull run is over. But before that can be understood, we have to first understand what caused the spike in Bitcoin price in the first place.
Getting an in-depth look at all the factors that prompted the uptrend can help shed light on if the rally is over for good and a new bear market here, of it this is merely a pause before another leg up and more all-time highs.
Why People Invest In Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies
Time and time again, it has been proven that Bitcoin can be a worthwhile investment and a great, uncorrelated addition to a savvy investor’s portfolio. In fact, it is among the best performing investments in history, despite still being considered a dangerous and sometimes risky asset class. The risk is associated with the cryptocurrency’s volatility which is amplified by being a speculative asset. Speculative assets are highly susceptible to changes in sentiment, making the resulting changes in price action that much more powerful.
It has gone from virtually worthless and of interest only to hobbyist cypherpunks to being a highly sought and scarce asset that everyone in the world wants to own a piece of. The ROI is in the hundreds of thousands, if not more, but the cryptocurrency keeps on climbing.
Knowing the asset’s potential is one of the main reasons the price spiked in 2021. Any financial market prices in all available data, including news, and even the expected future results of an asset. In fact, most assets trade at the prices they will be worth in the future, and not at their actual valuation. Crypto is no different, and possibly even more departed from its value – because no one truly knows what the value should be.
Future Price Predictions Fuel Rally
But Bitcoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies with enough price history to predict future outcomes, and almost all analysts who have looked at a Bitcoin price chart see big things in the cryptocurrency’s future.
The cryptocurrency is projected by many ranging from the likes of Max Keiser to Tim Draper and Cathie Wood to reach hundreds of thousands of dollars per coin in the next several years. With expectations like that, crypto investors are hard to break and it took a major 50% correction to get some long term holders to finally capitulate.
The spike was driven in large part by the expectation that the price of Bitcoin would rise in 2020, but the expectation itself was driven by a variety of other factors.
Digital Gold Narrative Floods Crypto Market With Trillions
The digital gold narrative was one of the primary factors in Bitcoin’s parabolic climb in 2020. The cryptocurrency was designed by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto to share many of the same attributes as the precious metal, such as scarcity.
Gold has long been used as a monetary standard, however, Bitcoin is better than gold in every way. The cryptocurrency can be sent across communications channels due to having no physical footprint, and requires no space to store. It is even more scarce than gold, with a fixed supply that can never be increased.
The gold market is worth more than ten trillion dollars, and even just a small amount of it coming out of precious metals and flowing into the ultra scarce, low liquid crypto market sent speculative asset prices soaring. Bitcoin reached more than $1 trillion itself, with the crypto market reaching nearly $3 trillion in total value. But then a crash happened, and the entire crypto market is now less than $2 trillion with Bitcoin included.
The Bitcoin Halving Crushes Supply When Demand Is Highest
The cryptocurrency’s hard-coded halving in May of 2020 was another major factor in causing the spike. Demand for the cryptocurrency had been rising naturally after a long bear market. When demand was at the highest in years, the supply was slashed in half by the cryptocurrency’s underlying protocol.
With less BTC flowing into the market from miners, and no more holders willing to sell, the price per Bitcoin rose exponentially, and it carried the rest of the crypto market up with it. DeFi coins exploded, and Ethereum set a new peak also. The entire market was soaring.
Capital seemed to be flowing into crypto from every angle, and it was. Which leads us to another primary factor in the cryptocurrency’s epic rise to stardom in 2021.
Stimulus Money, The Fail of Fiat, And The Future Of Bitcoin
The rise began with Black Thursday, and the massive stimulus rolled out since to save the economy and keep markets afloat. Central banks and governments have collectively added trillions of dollars to the global money supply, all while the total supply of BTC has stayed the same, and the incoming supply has dropped.
The fall of fiat currencies could soon arrive, and inflation is already running wild and causing consumer prices to skyrocket across the board. If this happens, the true value of cryptocurrency scarcity could show its hand in the coming years.
With the economy still on thin ice and unprecedented money printing failing to hold up the stock market, another big crash is imminent. If and when central banks again try to prop things up, Bitcoin will spike yet again, and the bull market will continue. Buying Bitcoin in many ways, is an insurance policy against any potential outcomes where the US dollar fails, and a new currency prevails.
The rest of the year of 2021 is bound to be an exciting one as bulls and bears collide to decide the future fate of the crypto market.