The monumental 2021 crypto bull run produced stunning windfalls and ushered in an influx of mainstream interest. But by all metrics, it will pale in comparison to the next cycle poised to shake up global finance.
Will the next Bull run be the final chance for huge gains before crypto is tamed?
- Bitcoin’s current price action mimics the run up to its all-time high, suggesting another major bull run is coming.
- Previous crypto cycles show decreasing returns and volatility over time as the market matures.
- If history repeats, the next bull run will have lower returns than 2021 but more mainstream FOMO than ever before.
- Regulatory battles and institutional adoption point to crypto entering its maturity phase soon.
- Crypto will likely face its last major growing pains before stability as regulations eventually ease.
- Bitcoin ETFs could arrive soon and unlock a flood of institutional capital into crypto, dwarfing anything before.
- Even as the market matures, crypto will always retain some volatility and ‘wild west’ character at its fringes.
Many optimists argue crypto is on the cusp of entering a new era marked by stability, reliability, and minimized volatility as it transitions into a mainstream asset class. However, this transition is far from guaranteed.
There are signs of crypto slowly shedding the “wild west” stigma that has defined its early chaotic years. Ethereum in particular has diligently followed its ambitious technical roadmap for years, earning greater legitimacy in the process. The days of “moving fast and breaking things” are giving way to a methodical, programmatic cadence of upgrades.
Meanwhile, the approval of Bitcoin ETFs seems imminent, with several major asset managers seeking approval to unleash institutional floodgates. Increased oversight is also taming the regulatory unknowns that spooked risk-averse capital allocators. Maturating infrastructure and growing regulatory clarity appear to signal crypto’s coming of age.
If this trend continues, the next cycle’s diminished volatility could be a feature rather than a bug. Investors cheered each step towards mainstream acceptance as benchmarks of crypto’s progression towards being a reputable asset class.
However, it may be premature to declare the advent of crypto’s adulthood so soon when considered in a broader context. Bitcoin breaching its all-time high last cycle fueled forecasts that its best days were already behind it. Of course, spectacular gains followed, proving pundits wrong.
Ongoing tech progress also suggests reduced friction to using decentralized networks will open the door to more creative use cases. Lower barriers to entry and seamless onboarding would feed rather than stifle hype cycles as retail piles in.
And regulation remain a double-edged sword. While increased oversight paves the way for institutional acceptance, overreach could severely constrain permissionless innovation.
So a tempered take is that crypto’s growth is coming in waves rather than a straight line. Mature systems enabling mainstream access can develop in parallel with frontier experimentation that fuels crypto idealism.
This balanced evolution speaks to crypto’s dual nature. As compliant on-ramps and custodial services create a safe base for curious entrants, decentralized purists will continue pushing boundaries at the fringes.
The key is acknowledging both sides rather than forcing a false binary between the open wild west versus closed civilization. With prudent governance, crypto can retain its unique character while still appealing to a broad audience.
In the decades ahead, crypto bull runs may continue with diminishing volatility, but likely not disappear entirely. For the foreseeable future, greed and euphoria seem destined to accompany each leap forward in this epochal technological shift.
Rather than definitively declaring an end to rowdy cycles, it is wise to expect a measured taming of wild fluctuations, with the market growing up but not totally mellowing out. Yet those bracing for the next mania might find themselves surprised if inflation-hedging use cases prevent a full-blown frenzy.
One certainty is there are no certainties when predicting crypto’s future path. Its transparency enables observing macro trends, but surprises always emerge.
Perhaps the most balanced perspective is acknowledging this next wave lies somewhere between outright exuberance and staid stability.
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Author: Oliver Dale