If you’ve followed Bitcoin’s history, the word “boring” might not be the first that comes to mind. However, the crypto markets have been relatively flat for about the past month, with maximum swings “only” consisting of 12 percent moves. Compared to the wild ride that led BTC to an ATH of about $20,000 in December 2018 before subsequently crashing to the $6,000 range, the markets today look almost apathetic.
“It’s not that exciting anymore,” said one observer, echoing a common sentiment among cryptocurrency insiders.
Investors’ Money May Be Going To Another Risky Industry
The relative calm of cryptocurrency markets has been partially blamed on interest in publicly traded companies in the marijuana and cannabis niche. Marijuana is seen as another risky, potentially volatile investment strategy that is still frowned upon by the U.S. federal government due to it being an illicit good in some scenarios.
The questionable legal status of marijuana has caused challenges for the industry. Foreign investors in marijuana and cannabis have been barred from travel to the United States, which often irritates investors who frequently travel on business. Most banks refuse to do business with marijuana and cannabis dispensaries out of concern about legal liability, which often forces dispensaries to primarily use cash or turn to less picky cryptocurrency payment processors.
This has not stopped investors from putting money that could have gone into crypto markets into marijuana instead, possibly in the hope of making big gains if marijuana is ever made legal on the federal level. And considering the fact that the devil’s lettuce is set to be legalized in Canada by the end of October contributes even further to the cannabis craze, which saw a publicly-traded weed stock surge in value.
Could Bitcoin Be Ready For Another Bullish Run?
The relative stability in Bitcoin’s price does not mean that volatility in cryptocurrency markets has entirely gone away. Altcoins are still very prone to sudden, steep moves on the back of the slightest news. XRP, for instance, was briefly in the number two position by market cap on Live Coin Watch after a sudden spike in value that now seems to be tapering off.
Cryptocurrency price watchers have speculated that the relative stability of Bitcoin means that it may hit the bottom soon if it hasn’t already and could go on another bullish run soon. Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart has called the past week one of the “best weeks” for Bitcoin in terms of activity outside of trading.
On the flip side, potential institutional investors may simply be waiting to see if a Bitcoin ETF is approved. So far, none of the several ETF proposals have been approved by the SEC. While none of the previous ATHs have depended on the existence of an ETF, the market does seem to be holding its breath to see what happens.
Either way, Bitcoin markets probably won’t remain “boring” for long and altcoin markets have been anything but boring. This is a niche where a 12% swing is considered relatively tame and altcoin price swings of 35% or more in less than a day are not unheard-of even during the current overall bear market.