The past months have seen global financial markets taking a significant dive, causing volatility and unease around the world. While pretty much every country in the world is affected, China has been the hardest hit, largely owing to their trade war with the US. Investors with PTSD from the financial crisis a decade ago are surely starting to sweat and America's economic growth is in danger of contracting. In the midst of all this turmoil, however, cryptocurrencies are actually holding steady, with some even making small gains.

A Watershed Moment

Naysayers and cynical analysts were mighty pleased last winter when Bitcoin crashed down violently from its dizzying high of around 22k – it seemed to prove that crypto was a flash in the pan. While Bitcoin and other popular digital coins continued a steady descent into September 2018 (around the same time the current market dive began), in the past few months, they've stabilized across the board, defining a steady level of support that refutes their volatile reputation.

Describing the Bear

The US federal bank's plan to raise the national interest rate has made government bonds a more attractive option for risk-averse investors, and this may have had a negative impact on the equity markets. Ironically, the fed may need to revise its plan in the face of the current bear market. Falling oil prices have also hurt the economy, and the ongoing trade disputes with China and Canada don't help either. 

Because investors are still traumatized from the 2008 crisis, the mob mentality fuelling the initial selloff may have been fiercer than usual. With a potential moratorium on raising the national interest and the markets still in turmoil, buying and investing in cryptocurrency might actually be the smartest play, as crypto does not seem to be correlated to the markets at this juncture. 

Potential Explanations

While there are many, many crypto critics out there who insist the blockchain is a passing fad, they may be silenced in the coming months if crypto can find a comfortable level of oscillation. It will be especially rich for crypto boosters if the precise moment that crypto proves its store of value is in the context of a brutal bear market. 

As with the gradual emergence of any major paradigm shift – where the acceptance of the revolutionary new concept is preceded by the old guard poo-pooing it – crypto may just be cresting its initial success, shifting towards common acceptance. While some folks are still uncomfortable with the idea of a currency that is not grounded in established institutions like governments and banks, this freedom from fallible social constructs is precisely what endears crypto to freethinkers and the younger generation. 

A Currency for All Peoples

Cryptocurrency knows no boundaries and cannot be meddled with by nefarious humans. Because transactions are verified and executed through the blockchain (a comprehensive record of every exchange), everything happens in plain sight, with no opportunities for graft or fraud. 

In the current bear market, buying Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin might be an incredibly smart move, whether you're interested in squirreling it away as future cash, or an investment that is safe from the all-encompassing downward trend.