We know the cryptocurrency market has a reputation for being volatile, however, these last few months have been particularly nail-biting for many investors. As markets swing in wild directions, some have made impressive gains while others have lost out. In this article, we explore whether crypto markets will ever overcome volatility and what one can do to gain financial stability in turbulent times.
What causes the markets to be so volatile?
Due to a lack of central authority, the markets more accurately present investor sentiment, rising and falling as a result of the actions of people actively buying and selling. While volatility has a bad name and is certainly a hinder in terms of mainstream payment method adoption, it is valued by traders as it poses an opportunity to make big gains. Traders have created full-time jobs that benefit solely from the crypto market's volatility.
Regulatory frameworks are likely to positively affect the volatility prevalent in the digital currencies markets, but until that is implemented let's explore the biggest factors behind the volatility.
Due to cryptocurrencies being digital and not backed by any commodity or real-world currency, their prices remain dependent on supply and demand. Essentially relying on faith: the prices will rise based on people believing in the product and accumulating more, while prices will drop when investors lose faith and sell. The markets remain volatile as investors are not concrete in their positions.
In its infancy
Cryptocurrencies have been around for just over a decade, a relatively short time for an asset of such influence. As the technology remains in its earlier years there is still plenty of development that needs to take place. So while Bitcoin has built an incredible market capitalization, there is still a long way for the cryptocurrency to go.
This contributes to the market's volatility as markets tend to rise when new developments (upgrades, discoveries, implementations) take effect, while markets can fall when deadlines are missed or errors occur, leading investors to lose faith in the technology.
Arguably the biggest contributor to the market's volatility is the speculation surrounding cryptocurrencies. Predicting price swings and then acting on them has caused many an upward and downward spiral. From buying in just before the price rises to short just before a crash, speculation plays a large role in the market's swings and increased volatility. Speculation management is a key ingredient when it comes to successfully trading crypto.
Increased media coverage
Another great contender to volatility in the market is the media. Having a great influence over investor sentiment, the media has been behind many price swings in the market. With the power to launch or crash a market, the media plays into the narrative by encouraging investors to quickly buy or sell with attention-grabbing headlines.
The final factor to consider in the causes behind the market's infamous volatility is its accessibility. Stock markets and real estate typically attract a certain calibre of investors, while the entry requirements for investing in crypto are very low. It does not require any licences, degrees, lawyers or heavy capital. Anyone can enter the market with a small amount of money and internet access.
The market has typically been dominated by retail investors, however, in recent years institutional investment has been on the rise. The simple way in which anyone can enter the market provides an open invitation for volatility.
All playing their own role, these factors contribute to market prices being thrown in seemingly random directions at unpredictable time intervals. Understanding the fast nature of price swings and what might be behind them will contribute to investors and traders gaining a tighter grip on what might happen next.
Can the market stabilize?
Now that we've explored what factors are behind the volatility, let's dive into whether the markets could stabilize. Bitcoin maximalists claim that once Bitcoin reaches a level of adoption, the price will stabilize. While there are no clear criteria for what "adoption" is, the theory remains true.
According to this data, Bitcoin is currently the 14th biggest currency in the world, sitting comfortably between the Swiss Franc and the Thai Baht. This illustrates the cryptocurrency's affirmative dominance despite its volatility.
Will it improve with time, or will a seismic shift in the way people perceive cryptocurrency ultimately solve the volatility issues. At this time, one can't say for sure. So in the meantime, continue HODLing if that's what you came here to do, or leverage the swings as you trade, in the end, you can make gains either way and still come out smiling.
How to maintain financial stability in volatile markets
First and foremost, never invest more than you're willing to lose. This is the golden rule of investment across all asset classes. The next universal rule is to not act on emotions, do not make impulsive decisions when it comes to your trading portfolio, rather expect volatility and have a plan. Below we outline several tips on how to remain calm in stormy markets.
- Do not pay attention to short-term fluctuations and rather stay invested for the long term.
- Create a limit order that will automatically execute if markets crash. This will create a safety net should things turn south.
- Consider that typically when volatility subsides, prices increase.
- Remember why you invested in the asset and refer back to its potential.
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