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2018: Year in review

Another year has passed in the crypto space, leaving people both frustrated and hopeful for 2019. Even though this year has been difficult, it is important to remember the hard times and learn from them.

Spanish philosopher George Santanya once said:

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The earth has music for those who listen.

Quarter 1

January this year started off hot. Euphoria was in the air. Dreams of Lamborghinis and yachts came true for some folks in the crypto space.

However, some versed old-timers knew the situation was too good to be true. Crypto-veteran Ryan Selkis published his “95 Crypto Theses for 2018” in early January, predicting a 99 percent drop this year in crypto asset prices. He was largely proven right as even crypto’s largest asset, bitcoin, has plummeted more than 80 percent.
The latter half of January saw a string of events that led to crypto’s unraveling. Bitconnect finally pulled its much-anticipated exit scam, which seemed to coincide with dropping prices. Regulators also subpoenaed Tether and Bitfinex at the end of January, sending a surge of fear throughout the entire crypto sphere.
February continued the downward spiral. According to CoinMarketCap, BTC dropped all the way down to the $6,000 range on February 6, before seeing a rally of almost $2,000 on the same day. Perhaps the rally was in part due to a bullish Senate meeting on the topic of cryptocurrencies on February 6.
Bitcoin continued its rally, seeing the $12,000 range by the middle of February, before heading to the mid-$7,000 range by mid-March in a downward continuation of lower highs.

Quarter 2

April saw one last big push upward in bitcoin’s price, rallying from the $6,000 range, all the way up to almost $10,000 by early May. April was a solid month in general for market prices as speculators likely hoped for the start of another bull run.

May was mostly a down month, returning back to the low-$7,000 range. On May 11, Bloomberg reported on South Korea’s raid of the Upbit crypto exchange, lessening market confidence.

CNBC reported on Coinbase launching “Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Markets, The Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group and Coinbase Prime,” catered toward institutional interest.

May also saw Circle launch its stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), and the U.S. Department of Justice start an investigation into bitcoin price manipulation.

June was a largely sideways month for the market. Early June saw the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) establish a leader “for its emerging cryptocurrency division,” according to a CNBC report, and SEC head Jay Clayton also claimed the regulating body would not change securities laws in favor of crypto assets.

June also saw bitcoin ETF talks heat up as VanEck, SolidX, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) banded together, filing with the SEC for approval.

Additionally, the SEC declared Bitcoin and Ethereum free from classification as securities.

Quarter 3

Bitcoin’s price started relatively low in July, but ended the month on a high note, climbing from the low-$6,000 range to the low-$8,000 range on anticipation for a bitcoin ETF approval.

July’s headlines were still filled with speculations for bitcoin to rocket past all-time-highs by the end of the year. Other bitcoin ETF SEC applications came out of the woodwork by the end of July as bitcoin jumped up to $8,400.

In late July, The Wall Street Journal reported on the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss twins’ bitcoin ETF proposal, which seemed to kickstart a bevy of bitcoin ETF proposals by different entities, making bitcoin ETFs a popular topic for the rest of 2018.

On August 3, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced a November launch for its Bakkt exchange, which promised to host bitcoin-settled futures trading, according to a report by Business Wire.

Additionally, the SEC postponed the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF in early August, as bitcoin found its way back down to $6,000 by mid-August. August also saw news from Bloomberg on Venezuela and their national cryptocurrency endeavor.

As August neared its close, CNBC reported on a staggering nine bitcoin ETF rejections by the SEC.

In early September, bitcoin dropped close to $1,000 in one day as price fell from almost $7,400 down to about $6,400.

Near the middle of the month, the Winklevoss twins unveiled their new stablecoin, the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the SEC started a more in-depth crackdown on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The SEC also chose to further delay the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF, as reported by Abacus Journal.

By the end of September, bitcoin had entered what would become a long and drawn out period of consolidation, severely lacking in volatility.

Quarter 4

The entire month of October was virtually flat regarding bitcoin’s price, which hovered somewhere in the $6,000 range for the whole month on most exchanges.

The first half of October was relatively quiet in comparison to the rest of the year, although things started heating up when Tether (USDT) fears and rumors caused the stablecoin to fluctuate largely in price, while Bitfinex also incurred large price discrepancy compared to other exchanges.

In the latter half of October, Crypto Insider also reported on Coinbase adding USDC to their exchange, as well as Coinbase receiving a custody service license from the state of New York.

In addition, late October saw ICE delay their Bakkt exchange until December, as reported by Finance Magnates.

November continued bitcoin’s flat-priced path until November 14, which started an aggressive downtrend continuation, seeing prices below $4,000 by the end of the month.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) caused significant drama in mid-November with its civil war and associated hard fork. The hard fork caused BCH to split into Bitcoin SV (BCHSV) and Bitcoin ABC (BCHABC). Speculators noted a possible correlation between the fork and bitcoin’s price nosedive.

The SEC also continued its crackdown on the ICO market throughout November, and ICE delayed its Bakkt exchange once again, targetting January 2019 for its next launch date estimate.

Downward price action was the main topic of conversation as November faded into December.

December brought new bitcoin price lows for the year in the low-$3,000 zone, as the SEC once again delayed the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF until 2019. Stablecoins have also continued in their popularity as the market seeks a new option to replace Tether.

Bitcoin currently sits at a price of $3,620 on Blockmodo at the time of this writing, with future price direction unknown.

2019?

What will 2019 bring? No one knows. 2018 saw a flood of regulatory action as the Wild West saw enforcement from its sheriff – the SEC.

2019 will likely see a refining of regulation for the crypto space, as well as further price struggle. A significant amount of institutional interest is indeed present, regardless of this year’s sea of red prices. Crypto Insider reported on mainstream traders’ excitement for further crypto involvement, as well as a host of institutional crypto asset projects in the pipeline.

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to a positive 2019.

*The mentioned events and topics in this article were obviously only a snippet of this year’s crypto narrative. It would take many pages to chronicle all the important events that occurred in 2018.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by

BJ is a full time writer, editor, and trader in the cryptocurrency space. He has written many professional articles for numerous ICOs, news sites, and other interested parties in the crypto space. He is also a trader, staying up to date with the crypto markets constantly, and dabbling in traditional financial market trading occasionally.

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