2024’s Bitcoin Cycle Is Different From the Past – Experts Explain New Trends

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The current Bitcoin (BTC) bull run is set apart from others amid continuous regulatory shifts, new developments within the cryptocurrency industry, and new technological developments.

After rapidly reaching its all-time high (ATH) of $73,000 on March 14, 2024, BTC has been hovering around the $65,000 to $70,000 range, reflecting a period of relative stability and consolidation.

From an early ATH, no blow-off-top, and suggestions of a longer market cycle, we spoke to some of the finest cryptocurrency experts to help us understand what makes this BTC cycle different from others.

BTC Reached a Rapid ATH

Historically, BTC bull runs have occurred in rallies, first before a halving event, followed by a pullback post-halving, and then another rally to surpass previous all-time highs.

For example, during the second BTC halving event which took place in July 2016, it took the BTC value nearly a year and a half to reach an all-time high of $19,700 in December 2017.

The third halving in May 2020 led to a bull run that peaked at nearly $64,000 in April 2021 and reached a then all-time high of around $69,000 in November 2021.

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The most recent BTC halving occurred in April 2024, and experts were predicting that a similar trend would follow, however, it seems as if BTC has managed to reach its all-time high at an alarmingly speedy pace, topping at $73,000 on March 14, 2024, and since hovering between $65,000 and $70,000.

Matthew Kaye, the head of operations and strategy at Intuition Systems, explained to Techopedia how BTC’s early achievement of an ATH sets this BTC cycle apart from others.

“Historically, Bitcoin’s bull cycles have seen a pre-halving rally followed by a post-halving pullback before then rallying back to previous ATH resistance. In this current cycle, the pre-halving rally took us straight to ATH resistance.

“This accelerated pace can be attributed to a combination of increased institutional adoption, heightened mainstream awareness, and more robust market infrastructure, which were less pronounced in earlier cycles.”

Kaye noted that the speed at which the new all-time high was achieved could indicate that the cryptocurrency market is maturing and is benefiting from stronger foundational support from both retail and institutional investors.

Institutional Investors Are Steering BTC Rally

The launch of BTC exchange-traded funds (ETF) is probably one of the key drivers of the current BTC rally, bringing more institutional investors into the market.

Jonathan Thomas, the CEO and co-founder of the Blueberry Protocol, a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol that aims to provide a non-custodial prime brokerage experience, noted that the BTC ETF approval was possibly one of the main triggers for the current BTC bull run.

“One of the main triggers for this bull run was the approval of the BTC ETF, which was a watershed moment for our industry. The ETF bestowed a new level of legitimacy and accessibility, enabling a wider range of investors to engage in the Bitcoin market through more conventional investment vehicles.”

Wider institutional adoption is also often quoted by experts in the field.

Oleg Fomenko, co-founder of Sweat Economy, noted in a comment to Techopedia that BTC ETFs have enabled institutional money to flow into the crypto market not only from the United States but globally, setting the country on a much higher pedestal than usual.

Although some seasoned crypto traders, such as ImNotTheWolf, have called the current BTC bull run the “worst bull market ever” on X (formerly Twitter), other experts in the field are predicting that the bull market has not even started yet. This is just how the market is reacting to the first-ever BTC halving event since the launch of BTC ETFs.

Technical Analysis Continues to Indicate Bullish Trend

Bitcoin’s technical analysis, however, continues to indicate that the good run will possibly continue into the second half of 2024.

Intuition Systems’ Kaye said that with BTC trading above key moving averages and experiencing high trading volumes during price increases, all signs in the cryptocurrency’s technical analysis are pointing towards a strong bullish trend.

“Technical analysis indicates a strong bullish trend, with Bitcoin trading above key moving averages and experiencing high trading volumes during price increases.

“However, short-term momentum has stalled, and we are currently just below the Pi Cycle Indicator’s lower threshold (350DMA x 2). Historically, in previous bull markets, when prices fell below this moving average, it represented a prime buying opportunity.”

If we look at the BTC technical analysis chart as of June 2024, most indicators point towards ‘sell’.

Other experts are noting that from a technical analysis perspective, in order for the BTC price to move even higher, it must “first break current resistance and previous ATH”.

What Role Did Stablecoins Play?

While a few years ago, the word ‘stablecoin’ may have forced a shiver down an investor’s spine, their transfer volume has managed to increase significantly in the past four years.

According to data published by Token Terminal on June 19, 2024, monthly stablecoin transfer volumes have increased tenfold over the past four years from $100 billion to $1 trillion per month.

Blueberry Protocol’s Thomas explained that the design and operational capabilities of stablecoins are essential not only for individual platforms but for the entire DeFi sector, by providing interoperability within the landscape of crypto and acting as bridges between different DeFi protocols on various blockchains.

“Stablecoins enable seamless value transfers and strengthen liquidity throughout the ecosystem. The meticulous design of this asset class is crucial for the success and trustworthiness of the broader DeFi ecosystem, highlighting the need for solutions that manage risk and promote systemic stability, thereby ensuring a sustainable future for DeFi.”

Their impact on the wider cryptocurrency market has potentially also contributed to the current BTC rally, as they provide liquidity, ease fait-to-crypto transitions, and offer stable trading pairs.

Intuition Systems’ Kaye added:

“When stablecoin market caps are growing, it is generally a leading indicator of increased buying demand. Conversely, when stablecoin growth stalls or market caps decrease, it signals a period for more caution. Additionally, advancements such as yield-bearing stablecoins are set to transform how we perceive holding fiat currency, offering new incentives and opportunities for investors.”

The Bottom Line

According to experts, longer cycles suggest that the cryptocurrency market is definitely maturing and becoming less volatile, especially since the release of BTC ETFs, which have seen a much higher level of institutional adoption for cryptocurrencies.

Thomas highlighted that the more credibility the crypto industry gains from both institutional and retail investors, the more BTC and other major digital assets will grow as long-term investments rather than quick-profit opportunities.

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Iliana Mavrou
Crypto journalist
Iliana Mavrou
Crypto journalist

Iliana is an experienced crypto/tech journalist reporting on blockchain, regulation, DeFi, and Web3 industries. Before joining Techopedia, she contributed to a number of online publications, including Capital.com, Cryptonews, and Business2Community, among others. In addition to working in journalism, she also has experience in tech and crypto PR.  Iliana graduated from the City University of London with a degree in Journalism in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Communication.