Bitcoin Nears $13,500 USD For First Time Since January 2018; Why This BTC Bull Run Is Different
The last bear market that place in the crypto industry was a turbulent one that saw the closure of several firms and the loss of thousands of dollars in the value of a token of bitcoin. Fortunately, the bear market has broken and a bull run is currently in session. As of now, the price of bitcoin has broken above $10,000 compared to the price that maintained a few months ago on this immediately drew comparisons to the 2017 bull run that also saw the price of Bitcoin soar which was immediately preceded by a year-long bear market.
While it is easy to make comparisons between the two, there are several reasons why they are different. There is also the question of whether this is simply another bull run or whether this is the dawning of a new era in bitcoin.
Why They Are Different
One of the first things to keep in mind is the fact that the current bull run, while significant, has 24 percent fewer active addresses than in 2017 and the reason for that is that we are not witnessing the sort of frenzy that caused the Bitcoin bubble in 2017. It is also because we are in different eras of maturation of the crypto industry as in 2017 bitcoin was picking up more mainstream attention on many watched to get in on it in order to make a quick buck which saw an increase in active addresses. However the last two bear runs have made the market much more mature and to an extent, weeded out those who wanted to get rich quick and kept those who are in it for the long term and as such, there is growth but with fewer active addresses.
Another thing to keep in mind is that network fees are much cheaper now than they were in 2017 and this is mainly due to the implementation of SegWit and transaction backing. To give a bit of perspective, in 2017, transaction fees were as high as $40 and are now currently averaging around $2 for a transaction. Because network fees are much cheaper, there is a ripple effect on the number of transactions that will be taking place across the network.
The hash rate is another factor that must be considered and miners are becoming much better at mining and also more energy efficient. In 2017, one of the most debated issues regarding bitcoin was the amount of energy it took to mine a single token and that this method was mostly unsustainable and since then many miners have found energy efficient ways to mine their tokens. At the same time, the number of work done across the Bitcoin network is growing and is currently at an all-time high which means that the network is more secure than it has ever been particularly compared to 2017.
There is also a difference in the amount of media attention that is given to bitcoin now compared to 2017. Current bitcoin Google search numbers are a fraction of what they wear in December 2017 when bitcoin was in a bull run and media generally is not as focused on the current bull run as it was in 2017 which ultimately is a sign that the industry is able to progress and grow even without the need for media hype. This is also a testament to the fact that those who came into the industry due to media hype are mostly fizzling out and the mature and serious investors remain which includes institutional investors who have thrown their weight behind crypto in the last year particularly.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the launch of the Libra white paper by Facebook. While it is controversial. the Libra token has given lots of mainstream and institutional attention to cryptocurrency and has brought it to the forefront. But beyond the media hype of 2017, Libra is giving legitimacy to cryptocurrency as a concept.