a general partner at Multicoin Capital and the CEO of Civic, believes the crypto market won’t recover any time soon.
The crypto market will rise again, but most likely only when the pain of the recent fall becomes a distant memory. Don’t underestimate the power of psychology in free markets.
Why Crypto Could Take a Long Time to Recover
In 2017, the crypto market saw one of the most intense bull runs in its decade-long history fueled by the sudden emergence of retail traders and individual investors in regions like Japan and South Korea.
At one point, the demand for crypto in South Korea surged to a point in which the premium of the Bitcoin price achieved 20 to 30 percent. When Bitcoin was trading at an all-time high at $19,500 in the U.S. market, it was trading at over $23,000 in South Korea.
At the time, investors of all ages from teenagers to middle-aged employees invested heavily in the cryptocurrency market. Many investors saw their neighbors getting rich off of crypto and could not resist.
Teenagers utilized their parents’ bank accounts without authorization to purchase crypto and many individuals in their 40s that felt stuck in their jobs that pay less than $30,000 per year — the GDP per capita in South Korea is $29,742 — invested in crypto, seeing a glimpse of hope.
Nathaniel Popper, a journalist at The New York Times, reported that Kim Hyon-jeong, a 45-year-old teacher and a single mother, invested $90,000 into cryptocurrencies in the fall of 2017, $25,000 from a loan.
In South Korea, especially in the outskirts of Seoul, teachers are paid on average about $3,000 a month, and with the irrationally high rent costs at the capital, the majority of teachers and government employees are left with less than $1,500 to save on a monthly basis.
As crypto prices plunged, Kim lost most of her money, which may take well over 10 years to recover considering the interest on the bank loan she acquired.
“I thought that cryptocurrencies would be the one and only breakthrough for ordinary hardworking people like us. I thought my family and I could escape hardship and live more comfortably, but it turned out to be the other way around,” she said.
Even now, after the fourth largest bear market in the last 10 years, cryptocurrencies are recognized as a sign of hope for millennials that have given up on the idea of obtaining a stable job, earning enough money to purchase a house in Seoul, and getting married due to the declining economy of South Korea.
Regardless of how millennials perceive cryptocurrencies in markets like Japan and South Korea, it could take a long time for retail traders to psychologically recover from the three-month period from November to January of 2018 when prices spiked by well over 200 percent and plunged to extremely low levels.
On average, it has taken the crypto market 62 weeks to recover from major corrections, approximately a year and three months.
But, because of the mainstream media coverage it received and the exposure it gained, crypto could certainly take longer than a year and a quarter to fully recover.