Bitcoin prices and trading volume might keep plummeting, and the current bear market could last another 18 months. That’s the sobering assessment of Arthur Hayes, the CEO of the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX), the world’s largest bitcoin derivatives trading platform.
“My view is the volatility environment that exists right now could persist for another 12 to 18 months, the flatness,” Hayes told Yahoo Finance. “I’m just basing it off my previous experience.”
Hayes started trading crypto full-time in 2013 after losing his job as an equities trader at Citibank. The Hong Kong-based executive said the trading patterns today resemble the “nuclear bear market” he witnessed in 2014.
“I started in bitcoin in 2013, when the price went from $250 to $1,300,” Hayes recounted. “And then 2014 to 2015 was sort of the nuclear bear market. Price crashed, volume crashed — very, very difficult to make money.”
Hayes Set $50,000 BTC Price Target in June
Cryptocurrency trading volumes recently plunged to a new year low following the summer slump.
Hayes said volume could drop more in the coming months. “We think trading volumes could fall further from where they are now,” he said.
This is a stunning about-face from the exuberant $50,000 year-end bitcoin price target Hayes set back in June 2018.
At the time, he said BTC prices were just one positive regulatory decision away from rocketing past $20,000 on its way to $50,000 by December 2018. That does not appear realistic given current market conditions.
While Arthur Hayes has a bearish near-term outlook on the crypto market, he’s bullish about the industry’s long-term prospects.
Other market participants agree that the industry is currently flailing, but the long-term outlook is very bullish.
“The market is blowing off some steam right now,” Will Warren, the co-founder of decentralized crypto exchange 0x, told Yahoo. “The market is probably going through some healthy consolidation, but I do believe the long-term trend will be greater adoption of bitcoin and similar technologies.”
Experts: Slump is TemporaryBTC/USD | Coinbase
Jonathan Levi, the CEO of blockchain startup Hacera, agreed. “The price of bitcoin is undoubtedly in a bear market, but in the application of bitcoin and other blockchain projects we are in fact in a bull market,” Levi said. “Most of the EU banks are actively investing in blockchain, and that all originally stems from bitcoin.”
While many in the crypto community are in panic mode over the market’s current downswing, cryptocurrency evangelists who have followed the market since its inception are not worried over short-term blips.
Tech entrepreneur Wences Casares, the founder of bitcoin wallet provider Xapo, said it could take decades to know for sure if bitcoin is successful.