Bitcoin Bear Market Could Last Another Year and a Half, Says BitMEX CEO

BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said we may not have seen the last of the bearish market for BTC in an interview with Yahoo Finance published Friday.

‘Flatness’ in the Price of BTC

After rapid plummets and spikes in recent weeks, the market value of BTC has leveled out at around USD 6,300, with another small spike in value on Friday. Hayes says it will likely stay that way, possibly for another eighteen months, in the interview with Yahoo:

“My view is the volatility environment that exists right now could persist for another 12 to 18 months, the flatness. I’m just basing it off my previous experience. I started in bitcoin in 2013 when the price went from $250 to $1,300 and then 2014 to 2015 was sort of the nuclear bear market. Price crashed, volume crashed — very, very difficult to make money.”

Hayes added that, based on his experience, BTC’s value could fall even farther than it has. The interview was part of the ‘Who’s Afraid of Bitcoin’ event hosted by The Spectator magazine.

Despite his less than upbeat view on the market, Hayes still seems confident on Bitcoin and was quoted as saying “I own the racetrack, I don’t need to bet on the horses,” at the aforementioned conference. Founded in 2014, BitMEX is one of the largest crypto exchanges around, and the largest one to trade BTC derivatives.

Optimism on the Applications of BTC

Other big players in the crypto space don’t necessarily share Hayes’ views on the market, thinking it could instead turn bullish. 0x project cofounder Will Warren said in a separate interview with Yahoo that he was one of these optimists, stating:

“The market is blowing off some steam right now. I think 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.”

Others like Jonathan Levi, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Barclays, echo that sentiment, saying the current bear market needs to be put into context. Levi called the fluctuations in BTC a “bear-sized drop, but from an astonishing height.” BTC as a currency is in a bear market, he argues, but we are seeing more activity around blockchain projects and the application of BTC than ever before.

Just one example of that is Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), a crypto announced this week that applies BTC’s liquidity to the Ethereum blockchain. That project, the brainchild of dark pool platform Republic Protocol, custodian BitGo, and liquidity pool Kyber Network, is coming in early 2019.

Hayes told Yahoo that he thinks BitMEX is “well positioned” to ride out the coin’s low level of volatility, and the platform still conducts trades on contracts totaling around $1BN a day. He says the company’ expansion plans “have not changed.”

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