According to crypto podcast host Scott Melker, Bitcoin remains in a bull market despite recent weakness. In an interview, he explained why he doesn't expect new lows below $20,000 in the coming months barring an unforeseen "black swan" event.
Melker identified $25,000 as key support to hold for Bitcoin to sustain its bull run. He remains constructive on BTC based on historical cycles and increasing institutional adoption.
Six-Week Slide Doesn't Signal Doom
Bitcoin has tumbled from over $31,000 down to around $26,000 in the past six weeks. Melker attributed this fragility mainly to a "long squeeze" forcing over-leveraged holders to sell.
But he argued the drop isn't indicative of a looming crash to fresh lows below the prior cycle bottom of $20,000 reached in June 2022. Without a major surprise catalyst, he sees no reason to expect Bitcoin can't find support and recover.
Melker noted Bitcoin remains stuck in the same four-year cycle pattern exhibited in previous market cycles. This would still position it for gains in 2023 and 2024 despite recent volatility.
$25,000 Level Marks Bull/Bear Divide
According to Melker, the $25,000 price area represents the dividing line between a bull and bear market for Bitcoin currently. He believes holding above this support affirms the long-term bull trend remains intact.
However, a decisive break below $25,000 would likely signal a macro shift toward more enduring negative momentum. In that scenario, retesting the $20,000 lows becomes increasingly likely based on typical market psychology.
Melker sees a 65% chance that a Bitcoin spot ETF gets approved by the SEC within 2022. More access vehicles could provide fundamental support limiting downside risk.
Assessing the Bitcoin Bottom Timeline
Bitcoin's potential to revisit its bear market low requires weighing factors like market structure, adoption trends, and historical patterns.
Lengthening Cycles Suggest 2023 Recovery
Looking at historical cycles, Bitcoin has seen progressively lengthening bull/bear periods. The last cycle bottomed in late 2018 and lasted over 3 years. Before that, the bear market was less than 1 year.
This implies that the current bear cycle beginning in late 2021 still has room left to run in 2023 before concluding. In that context, revisiting the June 2022 lows anytime soon seems unlikely based on typical cycle timing.
Slowing inflation could also boost risk assets like Bitcoin as global markets recover in 2023. This macro environment wouldn't favor a plunge to fresh lows.
Rising Institutional Adoption Adds Stability
Bitcoin's increasing mainstream adoption, especially among institutional investors, may help create a price floor. Major asset managers now have significant Bitcoin exposure.
Their substantial investments could inspire confidence in Bitcoin's durability as an asset class. This burgeoning institutional support differs markedly from past drawdowns driven mainly by retail panic selling.
Of course, institutions remain loss-averse. Sustained weakness could prompt some to cut exposure, potentially exacerbating volatility. But overall their steadying presence should limit downside compared to past cycles.
Path Depends on Macroeconomic Factors
Bitcoin's fate ultimately links to broader risk asset sentiment which remains at the mercy of high inflation and rising interest rates in 2023. Stocks and crypto tend to trade in tandem.
If the economy stabilizes and begins recovering later this year, Bitcoin could enter its next bull run by mid-2024. But recession risks loom given global turmoil and uncertainties.
The crypto bear market probably persists throughout 2023. But with recession odds above 50%, all risky assets face unpredictability. Bitcoin's path depends greatly on wider economic conditions over the coming year.
What Could Spark the Next Bitcoin Bull Run?
Given Bitcoin's macro correlations, what developments might catalyze its next sustained price surge when the time is right?
##Crypto Innovation Reaching Mainstream
Bitcoin's next bull catalyst may simply be crypto going mainstream. Innovations like DeFi and NFTs are gaining traction beyond just speculators.
As blockchain solutions see real-world adoption, confidence in the asset class grows. This broader crypto uptake can raise Bitcoin's value as the flagship asset even if Bitcoin itself lacks new developments.
The key is consumers finally using crypto in everyday life. This validates the technology and boosts demand.
Institutional Platforms Opening Doors
For mainstream adoption, accessibility remains key. New on-ramps allowing easy crypto participation from traditional finance could accelerate adoption.
Regulated Bitcoin ETFs, higher corporate exposure, and innovations like crypto debit cards make owning digital assets simpler for regular investors.
If these platforms achieve enough reach, millions of new users could enter the crypto economy and boost prices.
Game-Changing Tech Still on the Horizon
Future blockchain upgrades enabling more Bitcoin utility could also reignite its price. Cheaper transactions through innovations like the Lightning Network may expand use cases.
Scalability improvements to support wider DeFi and NFT growth could set the stage for a broader crypto renaissance. And shifts to sustainability through changes like proof-of-stake provide optimism.
Bitcoin was first, not perfect. But its core value proposition still resonates. With the right advances, it can still lead the next wave of crypto disruption.
In conclusion, Scott Melker makes a reasonable case for Bitcoin avoiding a retest of its bear market lows near $20,000 in the coming months. Barring an unforeseen shock, key support around $25,000 should hold for now. But Bitcoin likely faces continued volatility until global macroeconomic conditions stabilize. Ultimately, its next bull run relies on crypto adoption reaching the mainstream through some combination of innovation, investment platforms and enabling technologies yet to fully emerge.