2017 started with a dream Bitcoin Bull Run with the cryptocurrency prices surging towards the all-time high. Before bitcoin enthusiasts could cherish the currency peak, there was a sharp drop in the price taking the currency back to $900 levels. Most people were shocked and disheartened about the abrupt shift in market dynamics. Market players started scurrying for reasons and comforted themselves with the circulating rumors involving China’s Policies. While it is true that China has always been a major influencer on Bitcoin prices, it might not be the driving factor here. Let’s look into why Bitcoin prices were bound to fall at peak levels and what would be the trajectory from here:
It’s all technical:
Bitcoin market has always followed the standard rule of currency markets: market trades all the regions adequately before moving to higher levels. It is very important to keep this in mind as market has always come back to trade low volume regions before resuming the Bull Run. This was evident when market went from $700 to $800 level and crashed back to compensate the lack of volumes.
Similar to that swing, market went from $900 to above $1000 with scanty volumes. Hence the crash was expected and the market came back to trade the low volume regions.
The peaks are always sloppy:
The prices have been bullish for most part of last year and the market has been trending. The only way this could have been halted was the effects of strong, long term and negative fundamentals. This happened for a brief period in 2016 when China announced capital controls on Bitcoin which lowered the prices. Later the sentiment settled and the market became trending in bullish direction.
When the market approached the peak for the first time in three years, the apprehension surrounding the speculation became very intense. With low number of buy orders at the top, traders and programmed algorithms can be set into a sell mode with little panic. With unstable market dynamics, the rumor acted as a catalyst for the quick crash.
Following the pattern, the market has consolidated at 78% Fibonacci Retracement level. Algorithms are coded to have strict adherence to these levels. Infact quick acting algorithms would be reason for the crash of the market which ignited a sell off. These $900 levels would be a better entry position to set oneself up for long-term trades. If the all-time high breaks, the market is bound to go very high with good volumes and strong support.
When it comes to countries and cryptocurrencies, China and Bitcoin share a relationship similar to estranged lovers. China has a credit fueled economy; Bitcoin had a period of stagnated growth. Chinese used Bitcoins to escape the debt trap and this in turn boosted the growth of the cryptocurrency. The price of Bitcoin almost tripled (from $220 to $730) in a year thanks to the Yuan devaluation. While this is convenient to the proponents supporting the currency, the Chinese government sees this as a threat to the economy.
China has dominated Bitcoin mining and trading domains for some time now. The widespread use of the digital currency has led the Government to initiate regulations to monitor Bitcoin. In 2013, the government classified Bitcoin as a commodity threatening its status as currency. This placed Bitcoin outside the purview of the foreign exchange regulator. People’s Bank of China and financial regulators made it a point to specify that bitcoin functioned as digital commodity only. Owing to the success of the cryptocurrency, the government itself was looking into possibility of its own national digital currency. In 2013, finally China moved to ban Bitcoin barring all financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions.
Capital control represents any measure taken by a government, central bank or other regulatory body to limit the flow of foreign capital in and out of the domestic economy. These controls include taxes, tariffs, outright legislation and volume restrictions, as well as market-based forces. Capital controls can affect many asset classes such as equities, bonds and foreign exchange trades. As mentioned earlier, China has a credit fueled growth, which implies that it is important that they ensure the value of money is intact. This can only be assured by implementing Capital Control over certain assets.
Government to make the move soon:
According to Bloomberg, Chinese regulators are looking into measures for limiting Bitcoin transactions taking the funds out of the country. The policies include restricting domestic bitcoin exchanges from moving the cryptocurrency to platforms outside the nation. Also would be in place quotas for the amount of bitcoins that can be sent abroad.
The measures were triggered when investors bought bitcoin on local exchanges and sold them offshore evading taxes. Whenever the Yuan depreciated, there was heavy inflow of funds into Bitcoin as means of hedging. With U.S. interest rate hike around the corner, policy makers are trying to restrict the outflow of funds with Yuan weakening. When the measures will be implemented, growth of Bitcoin will surely face little discomfort.