Bull Run: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research October 27, 2023

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  • In cryptocurrency, a "bull run" is a period of significant price growth and market optimism, driving up the value of various cryptocurrencies
  • Bull runs are characterized by a surge in trading activity as more people buy and trade cryptocurrencies
  • Investor psychology, speculation and network effects contribute to the growth of cryptocurrencies during bull runs
  • Bull runs offer the potential for high returns but also come with increased volatility, speculative behavior and the risk of market manipulation


In cryptocurrency, a "bull run" is a period of significant price growth and market optimism, driving up the value of various cryptocurrencies. During a bull run, the prices of various cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and others, experience substantial increases. This is often driven by increased investor enthusiasm, positive market sentiment and various factors like institutional adoption, positive news or wider recognition of blockchain technology.

Bull runs can lead to substantial profits for investors and are typically characterized by a surge in trading volumes and general optimism in the market. However, they are inherently volatile and can be followed by "bear markets," where prices decline.

A Brief History

Bull runs have occurred throughout the history of the crypto market. One notable bull run took place in 2013 when bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, reached an all-time high price of around $1,200. This sparked widespread interest in cryptocurrencies and the creation of numerous altcoins.

Another significant bull run occurred in late 2017 and early 2018, known as the "crypto bubble." During this period, the prices of various cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Bitcoin reached an all-time high of nearly $20,000, but the bubble eventually burst, leading to a prolonged bear market until 2020, which culminated in an all-time high for bitcoin near $70,000 in late 2021.

Bull Run: Everything to Know

  • Market Sentiment - Bull runs are driven by positive market sentiment, influenced by factors such as increased adoption, regulatory developments, institutional interest and positive news about cryptocurrencies. Positive sentiment leads to increased buying activity as investors and traders anticipate further price appreciation.
  • Investor Psychology - Investor psychology plays a significant role in driving prices higher during a bull run. Greed and "fear of missing out" (FOMO) cause individuals to enter the market, fearing they might miss out on profits. This influx of buyers fuels the upward momentum, creating a self-reinforcing cycle.
  • Speculation and Trading - Bull runs attract speculators and traders who aim to profit from short-term price movements. Increased trading volume and liquidity during a bull run amplifies price movements as traders take advantage of market volatility. However, trading cryptocurrencies carries risks and requires careful consideration.
  • Network Effects - Network effects contribute to cryptocurrency growth during a bull run. As more people and institutions adopt cryptocurrencies, the network effect strengthens, leading to increased utility and demand. This increased demand can drive up prices, especially for cryptocurrencies with strong network effects and widespread adoption.
  • Market Manipulation - Market manipulation is unfortunately present in any financial market, including cryptocurrency, and it can be particularly prevalent during bull runs. Pump-and-dump schemes, wherein individuals or groups artificially inflate the price of a cryptocurrency before selling holdings, can deceive investors and result in significant losses.

Getting Started

To navigate a cryptocurrency bull run, a basic understanding of cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology is necessary. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptography for secure transactions, decentralized control and record-keeping. Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, started the industry in 2009. Since then, thousands of cryptocurrencies have emerged, each with unique features and use cases.

Before participating in a bull run, it is important for investors to conduct thorough research and educate themselves about different cryptocurrencies. It is advisable to start by understanding the fundamentals of "blockchain" technology, which is the underlying technology powering cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is a decentralized and immutable ledger that records all transactions across a network of computers, and this technology ensures transparency, security and eliminates the need for intermediaries in financial transactions.

Once investors have a grasp of the technology, they should research and analyze various cryptocurrencies, examining factors such as the project's team, the use case, the technology it utilizes, community support and market adoption. Investors should also consider factors like market capitalization, trading volume and historical price performance. This research will help them to identify promising projects and make informed investment decisions during a bull run.

Unique Aspects

Cryptocurrency bull runs have several unique aspects that differentiate them from traditional financial markets. These characteristics contribute to the high volatility and rapid price movements observed during these periods.

  • Decentralization - Unlike traditional financial systems controlled by centralized authorities, cryptocurrencies operate in a decentralized manner, meaning that no single entity or institution has complete control over the market. Instead, cryptocurrencies rely on a network of participants to validate transactions and maintain the integrity of the blockchain. This decentralized nature can contribute to increased volatility during bull runs, as market decisions are made by a diverse range of participants.
  • Market Sentiment - Investor sentiment plays a significant role in cryptocurrency bull runs. Positive news, such as regulatory developments, institutional adoption or technological advancements, can fuel optimism and attract more investors. Negative news or regulatory uncertainty can lead to a decline in sentiment and trigger a market correction. Due to the relatively nascent nature of the cryptocurrency market, news and sentiment can have a more pronounced impact on price movements compared to traditional markets.
  • Speculation and FOMO - Cryptocurrency bull runs are often fueled by speculation and FOMO. As prices surge, investors may fear missing out on potential gains and rush to buy cryptocurrencies, driving prices even higher. This speculative behavior can create a self-reinforcing cycle, wherein increasing prices attract more investors, further driving up demand and prices. Investors must exercise caution and make informed decisions during bull runs, as speculative bubbles can burst, leading to significant price corrections.
  • Market Manipulation - The cryptocurrency market is susceptible to market manipulation due to its relatively low liquidity and unregulated nature. Pump-and-dump schemes, wherein a group of individuals artificially inflate the price of a cryptocurrency and then sell off holdings, can occur during bull runs, so it is crucial for investors to be vigilant and avoid investing in projects that show signs of manipulation or lack fundamental value.


  • High Returns Potential - Investors have the chance to make substantial profits during bull runs as cryptocurrency prices skyrocket.
  • Increased Market Activity - Bull runs attract new participants and boost market activity, leading to more liquidity and trading volume.
  • Fosters Innovation and Development - Innovation in the cryptocurrency industry is driven by bull runs by attracting capital and attention, resulting in new technologies, projects and applications.
  • Positive Sentiment and Confidence - Bull runs generate positive sentiment and increase investor confidence, attracting institutional investors and traditional financial institutions to the market.
  • Wealth Redistribution - Individuals from diverse backgrounds are able to participate and profit during bull runs, promoting inclusivity in the financial landscape.


  • Increased Volatility - Heightened market volatility is a factor in bull runs, making it challenging for investors to predict and time trades accurately.
  • Speculative Nature - Bull runs attract speculative behavior, leading to an unstable market environment prone to sudden price corrections and increased market manipulation.
  • Regulatory Uncertainty - Regulatory uncertainty in many jurisdictions can lead to stricter regulations during bull runs, introducing additional risks and impacting market sentiment.
  • Market Manipulation - Fraudulent actors are often attracted to bull runs, seeking personal gain through schemes like pump-and-dump and potentially causing significant losses for unsuspecting investors.
  • Potential for Losses - While bull runs offer high returns, they also carry the risk of substantial losses for investors without proper research, risk management strategies or a long-term perspective.