Some industry watchers say cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren’t in their “longest bear market ever,” and may not even be in a bear market at all.

MN Trading founder Michaël van de Poppe posted on X (formerly Twitter) on August 27 claim Bitcoin is currently in the “longest bear market” in history.

“Currently, Bitcoin’s price is nowhere near its peak valuation in Nov’21. It’s down more than 50% and is in a 490-day bear market,” the trader wrote.

Van de Poppe’s statement has drawn widespread attention from X users, with 1.3 million views and nearly a thousand retweets as of press time. However, some cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe that Van de Poppe’s message is not the case.

To determine the length of the current cryptocurrency “bear market,” it is necessary to understand that there are different interpretations of the term.

“The truth is, the terms ‘bull’ and ‘bear’ are completely subjective,” Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan told Cointelegraph. “It could mean that prices have moved in the past, or that prices are expected to move in a certain direction in the future,” Greenspan said, adding:

“This ambiguity creates endless opportunities for analysts to make pointless arguments forever.”

Allen Scott, market editor at Cointelegraph, said that one might view the current market situation as a “multi-year bear market until new all-time highs are broken.” This view suggests that Bitcoin has been in a bear market for 659 days since hitting its all-time peak near $69,000 on November 10, 2021. This period is even longer than Van de Poppe mentioned, but still not the longest “bear market” based on this method.

As previously mentioned by Cointelegraph, from November 2013 to January 2017, the price of Bitcoin was below its previous high for a period of 37 months (roughly 1,125 days). For more than three years, the price of Bitcoin failed to recover to $1,000 after touching the price mark. year 2013.

After reaching $20,000 for the first time in December 2017, Bitcoin lagged behind the price level again until December 2020, or 1,095 days. But does this mean Bitcoin is in a “bear market” during this period? As you can see from the chart, Bitcoin is actually on track to hit its all-time peak of $68,000.

Bitcoin price chart from late 2017 to August 2023. Source: CoinGecko

According to another interpretation of bear market terminology, Bitcoin may not be in a bear market at all right now.

Some classic definitions state that a bear market occurs when a market index or asset falls 20% or more from its recent high.

According to data from CoinGecko, Bitcoin’s most recent high was in mid-July 2023, around $31,400. At current prices, Bitcoin is about 13% below that level. Additionally, the cryptocurrency has gained 34% over the past year.

Jan3 CEO Samson Mow told Cointelegraph: “If you zoom out far enough, Bitcoin is just a big green candle that has been in an ongoing bull market since 2019. I guess those who focus on the short time frame People may be going through a bear market.”

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The bitcoin advocate also hinted that he sees the current market situation as “very bullish” due to factors such as high inflation, loss of purchasing power, spiraling debt, and adoption by nation-states such as El Salvador. Mr. Miao also has his own definition of a bear market:

“Bear markets are conditions that cryptocurrency investors with high time preference experience on a regular basis.”

Quantum Economics’ Greenspan backed Mow’s statement, arguing that Bitcoin never even entered a bear market. “However, based on what has happened in the past and the expected future time frame, we can be sure that Bitcoin is always in a bull market,” he said.

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