If this is a crypto bear market, how long can it last?

It has now been three months since Bitcoin’s price peaked at an all-time high just shy of $65,000. For most of the last two months, Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading in the $30,000–$40,000 range, as much as 54% lower than its peak

The downturn came at a time when many analysts were predicting exactly the opposite — a bull cycle set to run to new record highs within months — with some even speculating that a six-figure BTC price would materialize this year.

So, what’s going on? Is the current market downturn just a blip on an otherwise upward trajectory, or is the crypto market back in the kind of long-term bearish territory last seen in 2018?

Bullish metrics

Bitcoin’s historical price activity has a compelling correlation with its halving cycles, with previous all-time highs being reached within around 12 to 18 months of a halving. PlanB, the creator of the Stock-to-Flow BTC price model, is among the most vocal proponents of this. On Twitter, the analyst remains resolute that the Stock-to-Flow Cross Asset Model (S2FX) predicts further bullish action, pointing to similar temporary downturns before epic rallies in previous cycles.

So far, the S2FX model has been one of the most accurate price predictors of Bitcoin over the years. In addition, on-chain metrics appear to support the theory that bearish sentiments could be short-lived. For instance, shortly after Bitcoin’s April price peak, traders suddenly started moving funds onto exchanges, ending an almost uninterrupted eight-month run of HODLing.

Igneus Terrenus, head of communications at crypto exchange Bybit, believes that short-term traders were responsible for the sell-off following BTC’s price highs. He told Cointelegraph:

“A series of deleveraging events shook off many short-term speculators, whose capitulation accounts for the majority of realized losses in recent months. While the euphoria at the start of the year has all but dissipated, whales and long-term holders have remained confident…

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