Bearish: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research August 20, 2023

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  • In the cryptocurrency space, "bearish" refers to a negative outlook in which prices for digital assets are expected to decline
  • A "bearish" phase for one coin can negatively affect other coins and can also contribute to a general downturn in the market
  • Bearish and bullish phases are natural experiences for a financial market
  • Crypto platforms can take steps to encourage user confidence and push a coin into a bullish phase


In the cryptocurrency space, "bearish" refers to a negative outlook in which prices for digital assets are expected to decline. Just as a traditional financial market, the crypto market goes through bearish and bullish phases. During the bearish phase, investors become cautious. There is a sense of pessimism and uncertainty. The bearish sentiment can be contagious, leading to a downward spiral. If investors sell their holdings, they exacerbate the price decline..

A Brief History

Bitcoin has experienced several bearish phases throughout its existence. One notable example is the bear market of 2018. This followed Bitcoin's historic price surge in late 2017. During the bear market, Bitcoin's price declined significantly. The coin lost more than 80% of its value from its all-time high.

The bear market of 2018 lasted for several months. It had a profound impact on the overall cryptocurrency market. Many other cryptocurrencies, also known as altcoins, experienced substantial price declines during this time as well. This bearish phase brought to light the inherent volatility and risks involved in crypto investments.

Bearish: Everything to Know

  • Market Psychology: Bearish markets are driven by negative market psychology. Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) often take hold as investors worry about potential losses and the sustainability of the market. Negative sentiment can create a self-reinforcing cycle as more investors sell. Such actions contribute to further declines in the prices of cryptocurrencies.
  • Price Declines: In a bearish market, prices for coins decline across the board. The severity price declines can vary. It is not uncommon for cryptocurrencies to lose a significant portion of their value in bearish markets.
  • Trading Strategies : Bearish markets require different trading strategies than bullish markets. Long-term investors choose to hold onto their positions. This is because they believe in the long-term potential of cryptocurrencies. Short-term investors engage in short selling and hedging to profit from falling prices.
  • Volatility and Risk: Bearish markets are often characterized by increased volatility and risk. Prices can swing wildly. Sudden price drops will catch investors off guard. Investors should be prepared for volatility and develop strategies to manage risk.
  • Fundamental Analysis: In bearish markets, investors use fundamental analysis as a tool to minimize loss. Effort and pre-planning help investors understand the underlying technologies, teams and real-world use cases of cryptocurrencies. Data helps investors to determine the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies. Analysis allows investors to buy cryptocurrencies that may weather the bearish phase. Their goal is typically to invest in coins that will strengthen over the long term.
  • Market Sentiment Indicators: Market sentiment indicators can provide insights into the overall sentiment and potential direction of the market. These indicators include social media sentiment analysis, trading volume and market breadth. Monitoring the indicators helps investors gauge the prevailing sentiment and make informed decisions.

Getting Started

  • It is not uncommon for cryptocurrencies and the crypto market to go through bearish phases. A bearish phase is the opposite of a bullish phase. It is natural for a financial market of any type to experience both phases.
  • It is possible for investors to profit during bearish phases if they use strategies appropriately. It is not good for the health of the cryptocurrency ecosystem for investors to encourage panic, spread misinformation and engage in scams.
  • One of the goals of the cryptocurrency ecosystem should be to minimize fear, uncertainty and doubt during bearish phases. Investors should do their part to recognize that a bearish phase is simply a phase. The market will return to a point of stability.

Unique Aspects

  • Market volatility. Prices can experience significant fluctuations within short periods and bearish trends can be particularly turbulent. This high volatility is driven by factors such as market speculation, news events, regulatory developments and technological advancements. Traders and investors must be prepared to navigate volatility and manage risks effectively.
  • The absence of centralized regulation. Unlike traditional financial markets, cryptocurrencies operate in a decentralized and largely unregulated environment. This provides investors with financial freedom and privacy. Yet decentralization also expose the market to manipulation and fraud. The lack of regulatory oversight can amplify the impact of bearish trends. The absence of oversight can make it challenging to predict or mitigate market downturns.
  • External factors, including global economic conditions, technological advancements and regulatory changes, can encourage a bearish phase.. For example, negative news about cryptocurrencies, like a set of security breaches, can trigger bearish sentiment. This will lead to a decline in prices for a specific coin or the market overall. Macroeconomic factors like recessions can impact investor confidence also has the power to contribute to bearish conditions.


  • Buying Opportunities - During a bearish market, prices of cryptocurrencies often experience significant declines. This presents buying opportunities for investors who believe in the long-term potential of certain projects. Purchasing cryptocurrencies at lower prices allows investors to maximize their returns when the market recovers.
  • Market Correction - Bearish markets serve as a natural correction mechanism for the cryptocurrency market. During bullish periods, prices can become inflated. The value of coins is driven by speculative buying and market exuberance. A bearish market helps to deflate excessive valuations. It brings prices back to more realistic levels and promotes a healthier environment.
  • Increased Adoption - A bearish market can spur increased adoption of cryptocurrencies. As prices decline, more individuals may be attracted to the lower entry barriers. They see the potential for future gains. Increased adoption can contribute to the overall growth and development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
  • Innovation and Development - During bearish periods, cryptocurrency projects often face greater scrutiny and pressure to deliver tangible results. This can lead to increased innovation and development efforts. The competitive landscape drives teams to work on improving their protocols, enhancing security measures and addressing scalability challenges. Ultimately this benefits the entire industry.


  • Price Volatility - Bearish markets are typically characterized by increased price volatility. Prices can experience sharp declines within short periods, causing panic selling and further exacerbating the downward trend. This volatility can be unsettling for investors, especially those who are new to the cryptocurrency market. This volatility introduces more risk and uncertainty in the crypto ecosystem.
  • Investor Losses - As prices decline during a bearish market, investors who bought cryptocurrencies at higher prices may experience losses if they sell their holdings. This loss of value can be disheartening. It can lead to a loss of confidence in the crypto market. Investors should consider their risk tolerance and investment strategies to mitigate potential losses during bearish periods.
  • Market Sentiment - Bearish markets are often accompanied by negative market sentiment. Pessimism and fear can dominate investor psychology. This leads to a lack of confidence and reduced participation in the market.
  • Project Setbacks - Bearish markets can pose challenges for cryptocurrency projects, especially those that rely on funding through token sales or initial coin offerings (ICOs). When investors become more cautious, projects may struggle to secure funding to achieve their goals. This can result in delays, scaled-down operations and project failures.