Bitcoin’s Bear Markets: A Guide To Bitcoin’s Crashes And Comebacks

Bitcoin’s bear market. You’ve likely been hearing this phrase for most of 2018. Perhaps you aren’t exactly clear on what a bear market is. Maybe you’re not sure how to identify one. More importantly, you want to know when this bear market will be a done deal. This article will provide the bitcoin bear market info you’re looking for.

What Exactly Is a Bitcoin Bear Market?

Bear market definitions may vary, depending on who’s got the mic. Here’s a couple of popular interpretations:

  • A 20 percent decline from the most recent all-time high.

That’s a useful figure, however, some technicians add an additional qualifier:

  • A 20 percent decline from the most recent all-time high, with a duration of two months or greater.

Using the first definition, Bitcoin (BTCUSD) officially entered a bear market on December 21, 2017, when it closed at 15,632.12. The decline was extremely fast, occurring only four days after reaching its all-time high (ATH) of 19,870.62. Many other cryptos experienced similar descents into bear markets, confirming the sell-off’s broad-based nature.

Applying the second, more specific definition yields a different result, however. Using this second interpretation, Bitcoin entered a bear market on February 17, 2018 (two months after the Dec 17, 2017, ATH). Its closing price was 11,097.21, far below the broad-definition, 20 percent decline figure of 15, 632.12. Bitcoin remains in a long-term bear market, trading at 4,167.00 as of this writing (December 24, 2018).

Bitcoin Bear Market Stats

Here are my chart-based calculations for each Bitcoin bear market going back to 2011. I’m using the broad definition of a 20 percent decline from the most recent ATH. Time duration and maximum percent loss are included. The time needed for Bitcoin to move from the bear market low to the next ATH is also included. Dates are calculated on a week-ending (Saturday) basis.

Let’s start with the most recent bear market:

December 17, 2018, to December 15, 2018

Duration: 363 days

Max drawdown: (84.00) percent

Time needed until next ATH: To be determined

September 2, 2017, to September 16, 2017

Duration: 14 days

Max drawdown: (40.12) percent

Time needed until next ATH: 42 days

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