Falling Crypto Markets Signal Buying Opportunity

After the spectacular performance of crypto prices in April, any person with a dose of common sense would have expected a big pull back this month.  By big pull back we are taking a page from the playbook of technical analysis so a 50% retrenchment would not be unusual.

Until just recently, May was shaping up as a calm consolidation of prices.  With the exception of Ethereum, most of the major market caps pulled back around 10-12% in relatively calm trading.  Crypto skeptics will point out how bitcoin and others have underperformed stock indices like the Nasdaq Composite that is heading for a positive return of over 4%. But there there are more important signs taking place.

This week calm has turned into a sizable selling wave with bitcoin, bitcoin cash and Ethereum falling 11%, 23% and 24% respectively.  So suddenly, what’s causing this to happen?

According to a headline in CCN:

The recent correction of the cryptocurrency market and the short-term decline in the price of bitcoin, Ethereum, and other major cryptocurrencies and tokens can be mainly attributed to three major factors: Bitfinex taxation policy, scandal of South Korea’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges UPbit and Bithumb, and the initial sell-off of the Mt. Gox trustee’s bitcoin funds.

Accepting each of these factors in the face of the dramatic price declines should warm the hearts of investors.  Here is why it is a time for joy starting with the Bitfinex situation.

Bitfinex is the biggest bitcoin-to-USD exchange. Headquartered in the crypto tax haven of BVI, Bitfinex has requested personal information about it customers such as tax ID and social security numbers.  BVI is the home not only of Bitfinex but the chosen domicile of many ICOs.

The obvious source of this change in reporting policy can be drawn to U.S. pressure on BVI and the effect is clear.  Those investors who chose to resist the Bitfinex request sold their crypto.

We won’t go into all of the details of UPbit and Bithumb only to point out that this created a selling panic similar to Bitfinex.  Investors sell their crypto for good and obvious reasons but the reasons have little to do with the role of blockchain technology in the global economy.  In other words, when investment decisions are driven by fear, that spells opportunity nearly every time.

How Much Is the Downside?

Each of the factors mentioned is likely to be forgotten before any of us can imagine. Disaffected investors will simply find other exchanges to transact their business. This is not to condone those who choose to hide their identity.  It is simply a fact that there will will always be a location somewhere in the world that has loose tax reporting policies.

Knowing this means we need not fall into panic mode but actually welcome the crypto price correction and get ready to add to our portfolio.  The logical question that comes up is which name will produce the highest upside. The answer is that there is 30%-50% upside on average so choose your favorite flavor.

One thing worth remembering:  big cap names like bitcoin and Ethereun underperformed most altcoins during April, but are now showing the better downside relative performance.

So, in the next up leg, more risk orientated crypto investors will most likely get more action from names like EOS and Zcash to mention just two of many options. The market is displaying signs of rational analysis of risk and that is the sign of a maturing market.  In the long term scheme this is great news.

So answering the question, how much downside remains, is always an impossible task and can be a distraction.  Prices are back in a value range and that is the important conclusion.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

James Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.