Why Are Bitcoin and Other Cryptos So Volatile?
ContentFinanceDay In Pics: February 02, 2023Personal LoansWhat drives volatility in Bitcoin market?Future of British BusinessCelsius' business model different from that advertised - U.S. bankruptcy examinerSize and risk managementSpeculation and Hype Part of what investors love about cryptocurrency is that it’s an unregulated digital asset in many countries. Deregulation is a key characteristic of this https://xcritical.com/ […]

Part of what investors love about cryptocurrency is that it’s an unregulated digital asset in many countries. Deregulation is a key characteristic of this https://xcritical.com/ currency, as much as volatility is. So investors may spook at rumors of Bitcoin regulation and a proverbial end to the party, causing a price drop.

Why Is Bitcoin Volatile

The fall of the Terra stablecoin made the overall crypto market unstable, wiping out more than $200 billion in the cryptoverse. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose value is pegged or tied to that of another currency, commodity or financial instrument. The value of Luna Terra plunged by about 80 per cent, making the coins almost worthless. One factor driving lower cryptocurrency prices is the volatility of governments worldwide that seem to be cracking down on cryptocurrencies. For example, China banned Initial Coin Offerings and froze trading in a number of cryptocurrencies back in September 2017. This caused the price of Bitcoin to drop significantly over a period.


How could crypto live up to the hype if participation feels like a rollercoaster — one whose operator is opposed to safety inspections? While some of the criticism is well deserved, the focus on price volatility isn’t as strong an argument as critics might think. Rather, it reveals a misunderstanding of what different crypto assets represent. The total number of Bitcoins that can be mined is pre-determined in the protocol at 21 million. So, when more people join the industry, there is bound to be scarcity for Bitcoin and its price may skyrocket. Some coins also use the burning mechanism, which is destroying a part of the coins in supply, to raise their value.

"Bitcoin's volatility is a trade-off for a distortion-free market." Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.

Why Is Bitcoin Volatile

The 2022 bear market has caused many people in the cryptocurrency industry to question the viability of cryptocurrencies as a whole. They are fast and secure modes of transactions that are not prone to any government control or interference. At the time of writing, the global crypto market cap is $1.2 Trillion, a -39% change from 2021. "All investments carry risk, and just like stocks, crypto is subject to price swings," said Noah Perlman, Gemini's chief operating officer. "Bitcoin is still a young asset class, but it's one of the best performing of the last decade." Bitcoin has only been around for a short time—it is still in the price discovery phase.

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And although bitcoin is sometimes compared to gold in being considered a "store of value," it doesn't have any physical presence. Between April and June, Bitcoin’s value more than halved, from just over $45,000 to around $20,000; other coins have fallen even more. Established companies like Coinbase, a popular crypto exchange, have announced layoffs. Sometimes accounts that hold large amounts of a coin start selling, leading to a crash in prices.

"[It's] only 13 years old and thus doesn't have much of a trading history," explained Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. "While a company that went public yesterday in an IPO doesn't have any history, a company can at least be evaluated on its business prospects, earnings and cash flow." "No central bank or government can step in to support or prop up markets and artificially subdue volatility," continued Bhutoria.

Why Is Bitcoin Volatile

To understand the volatility of cryptocurrencies, it's important to understand how their supply changes as more people buy them and as the mining process continues to produce new coins. When more people want to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, those coins increase in value because demand has increased. The increased demand and limited supply of coins create a rise in price because more people want to purchase them than there are available to sell. Most cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are purely digital assets and aren’t backed by anything physical like a currency or commodity. That means that their price is set entirely by the laws of supply and demand.

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Unfortunately, it is unknown how high or low the cryptocurrency's price will go. It is difficult to predict what will happen to prices when the limit is reached; there will no longer be any profit from mining Bitcoin. As big financial players compete for ownership in an environment of dwindling supply, Bitcoin's price will likely fluctuate in response to any actions they take. Mary Callahan is an expert on Bitcoin-related topics and works as a journalist at Cex.io - cryptocurrency exchange. She writes articles related to blockchain security, bitcoin purchase guides or bitcoin regulations in different countries.

Despite multiple red flags for both companies, there was little price information until the bitter end. Both investments turned out to be as volatile as crypto, we just couldn’t see the volatility — and concerned investors couldn’t get out. Lack of access to startup investing has contributed to the growing wealth gap. Successful companies like Meta stayed private for as long as possible, and VC funds couldn’t — and still can’t — take retail money. Other investments like real estate or collectible art had too high an entry price for most people.

What drives volatility in Bitcoin market?

If it makes you nervous that one person’s Twitter account has a huge influence over the value of your investments, good. Having the value of your investments be at the whim of one person’s fickle opinion sounds like a huge risk to me. Investing in something that is speculative is a guaranteed way to introduce volatility in your portfolio.

It is unclear how Bitcoin whales—investors with BTC holdings in the tens of millions or more—would liquidate their significant positions into fiat currency without affecting Bitcoin's market price. If the whales were to begin selling their Bitcoin holdings suddenly, prices would plummet as other investors panicked as well. Often, the media strive to be the crypto volatility first to tell exciting news about the world of cryptocurrency. Therefore, some marketing specialists have learned to ride the wave of hype surrounding Bitcoin’s rises and falls and benefit from them. For example, if the price of cryptocurrency increases, you can get some promotional buzz for your brand by introducing cryptocurrency as a method of payment.

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A particular concern with Bitcoin is that a huge portion of all the Bitcoin circulating in the world — at this writing, more than 18.5 million bitcoin — will never be bought or sold by anyone. This could be because the coin is stranded in wallets for which the private keys have been forgotten or because they’re held by investors who will never sell, no matter the price. Moreover, Bitcoin’s existence is finite; no more than 21 bitcoin will ever be mined.

Why Is Bitcoin Volatile

Investors must accept cryptocurrency’s volatility when investing and not get too emotional about rises and falls. Presently, this is the nature of cryptocurrency, which is why investors should ultimately consider its volatility. More investors will recognize the elements that drive the movement of crypto currencies as they become more popular and acknowledged.

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As a result, the cryptocurrency markets are especially susceptible to hype, FUD , and blatant manipulation. Crypto traders frequently panic in instances when experienced traders might maintain their composure. Bitcoin is a small market of digital assets with a lot of speculation and the media has a huge influence on where the values trend. Speculators and investors are always scanning the headlines for the next big story that will either rocket or wreck the market.

  • Unlike other markets, such as real estate and the stock market, the barriers to entry into cryptocurrency trading and investing are extremely low.
  • The last factor is the average investor profile in the cryptocurrency industry.
  • With restaurant chains, online stores gradually warming up to the idea, the coins are likely to grow.
  • That’s loose change compared to the total value of the gold market at $7.9 trillion, and $28 trillion for the United States stock market.
  • Volatility, however, is not a fault for Bitcoin investors who have been in the market for a time.
  • Cryptocurrencies, by design, have shown they can act as a hedge against inflation.
  • Code automates how tokens are issued, traded and transferred from one owner to the next.

Unlike in some more traditional markets , the barriers to entry in crypto are significantly low. There's no need for lawyers, trading licenses or a minimum level of capital to invest. In this regard, anyone with access to the internet can dive in and begin trading. The first and perhaps most important thing to consider about bitcoin is that it has no intrinsic value. This means that it can't be quantified through traditional valuation methods such as discounted cash flows.

Size and risk management

Although this ecosystem is largely populated by retail investors, institutional money is beginning to tap into these online conversations to gauge sentiment. It has even become commonplace to see established news channels speculating on what the next "meme stock" to pump will be. There are some cryptocurrency power investors out there—so big that many of us know them by name. And these investors (called “whales”) control a good deal of the available coins, which means that their actions affect us all. If a whale makes a huge sale, it sparks questions for other investors, potentially causing them to follow suit and spur a decline in the price of bitcoin or other digital currencies.

Bitcoin gets a lot of public attention, but its market capitalization is only ~$1 trillion, only 10% of gold’s market cap. This makes it possible for a single entity or wealthy individual to single-handedly affect the price by buying or selling bitcoin. Bitcoin, which has increased in value by approximately 50x in the last five years, is considerably more volatile than most other assets, such as debt or equity. Volatility may indicate the potential for above-average returns on a trade, but it is also one of the main indicators of risk. This can make a Bitcoin investment less predictable in the short-term compared to other investments. Miners could theoretically give up and switch to another cryptocurrency when their mining efforts aren't paying off anymore.

"Bitcoin has clearly established itself as a new form of value, but the terminal value is still undefined," continued Bucella. "That information gap lends itself towards a momentum, or technically driven market, absent new information." Crypto developers say the added value of all assets is the lack of control from a central entity. Cryptocurrency wallets that hold a large amount of cryptocurrency are called crypto whales. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work.

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