Is the Bull Run Over? 7 Signs To Look Out For

No matter what your trading strategy is, a bull run is almost always a welcome sight — especially in crypto trading. Bull runs are more than just periods when prices shoot up: rising trading volumes, investor interest, and new projects all appear during bull markets to create a healthier ecosystem and a better trading environment. And when they end, it’s always a chance for short-sellers to generate profit. Due to them being so influential, it is important to be able to tell when a bull is over — and today, I will talk about some of the best to do so.

Is the 2024 Bitcoin Bull Run Over? Bitcoin’s Bull and Bear Run Cycle

Bitcoin’s bull and bear run cycles are an important dynamic that shapes the crypto market landscape. Typically, Bitcoin’s bull runs are triggered by major events such as halvings, which historically occur every four years and reduce the reward for mining new blocks, effectively decreasing the new supply of Bitcoin. This scarcity tends to drive prices up due to the increased demand against a limited supply, aided by positive investor sentiment and broader crypto adoption. These bull phases often end when the market becomes overly saturated, euphoria peaks, and macroeconomic factors like regulatory changes or global economic shifts prompt a sell-off.

On the flip side, Bitcoin bear markets begin when the sustained downward price movements take hold, often made worse by bad news or shifts in market sentiment. These periods are a natural part of the financial cycle, serving to correct the excesses of the previous bull run. For investors, the beginning of a bear market can be an opportunity to reassess and plan for long-term holdings, while the end of a bear market might be the right time to invest before the next bull run starts, as new cycles of growth are often on the horizon after significant corrections.

Bitcoin price remained relatively stable following the April 2024 Bitcoin halving, recording a brief decline below $60K but quickly bouncing back up and challenging the $64K resistance level once again. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was still looking to keep rising, with some experts expecting the second half of the bull run to be even better than the previous one, which saw BTC record a new ATH of $73,750.07.

Check out our Bitcoin price prediction here.

What Is a Bull Run?

A bull run in financial markets refers to a period of consistently rising prices marked by widespread optimism, investor confidence, and positive market dynamics. This term is frequently applied to various asset classes, including stocks, commodities, and, notably, digital currencies. In the context of the cryptocurrency market, a crypto bull run involves a significant and sustained increase in the value of crypto assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. 

During such periods, cryptocurrency market participants often experience heightened activity and increased investment flows driven by expectations of continued upward trends. Factors like the launch of a Bitcoin ETF can further bolster investor confidence by providing more traditional exposure to digital currencies through regulated avenues.

7 Signals That Show When a Bull Run Is Over

Here are seven key indicators that can signal the transition from bullish to bearish market conditions.

1. Decline in Trading Volume

A noticeable decline in trading volume can be a strong indicator that a bull run is losing momentum. During a bull market, high trading volumes typically support rising prices as investor enthusiasm grows. When these volumes start to drop off significantly, it can suggest that fewer traders are buying into the asset at higher prices, indicating a possible reversal or slowdown in market growth.

2. Increased Market Volatility

Increased volatility can be a precursor to a market peak. As uncertainty grows, price fluctuations become more pronounced, with assets experiencing sharp rises and falls within short periods. This kind of erratic movement often signals that investors are becoming nervous, which can lead to rapid sell-offs, ending the bull run. In the crypto market, for example, such volatility is not uncommon and can swiftly impact sentiment.

3. Bearish Divergence in Technical Indicators

Technical indicators like the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) can show bearish divergences as a bull run begins to wane. A bearish divergence occurs when the price of an asset makes a new high, but the indicator fails to reach a new high. This discrepancy often suggests weakening momentum and can be a warning sign of a potential reversal.

4. Interest Rates and Economic Shifts

Interest rates set by central banks can influence market sentiment and asset prices. Rising interest rates typically increase the cost of borrowing, which can dampen economic growth and reduce speculative trading activity. For investors, shifts in monetary policy are crucial to monitor, as they can precipitate the end of bull markets across a range of asset classes, including stocks and, indirectly, cryptocurrencies.

5. Changes in Market Leadership

A shift in which sectors or assets are leading the market can also indicate that a bull run is ending. For instance, if more defensive sectors, such as utilities and consumer staples, begin to outperform more cyclical sectors, like technology or consumer discretionary, it could signal that investors are moving their money into safer assets, anticipating a downturn.

6. Regulatory News and Geopolitical Risks

Regulatory changes or increased geopolitical tensions can abruptly alter market dynamics. For example, regulatory crackdowns in the cryptocurrency space can lead to sudden and severe price drops, affecting broader market sentiment. Similarly, geopolitical risks like trade wars or political instability in key economies can deter investment and trigger a shift from a bull to a bear market.

7. Profit-Taking by Institutional Investors

Large institutional investors often start to take profits after substantial gains, which can lead to a cascading effect where smaller investors also begin to sell, fearing a downturn. Monitoring the actions of these large players can provide early indications of a market top. In equity markets, this might be observed through the disclosure filings of large asset managers, whereas, in crypto, market analysis platforms might indicate large wallet movements and exchanges.

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What Is the Difference Between a Bull and a Bear Run?

The difference between a bull and a bear market primarily lies in the market’s direction and the general sentiment surrounding its future. A bull market is characterized by a sustained increase in market prices, typically by 20% or more from recent lows, across many securities or the index as a whole. This upward trend is driven by strong investor confidence and optimistic expectations about future economic and corporate performance. During such times, key factors like rate cuts or positive macroeconomic indicators can bolster investor confidence and further stimulate investment in various assets, including digital assets.

In contrast, a bear market is defined by a decline in asset prices, generally by 20% or more from recent highs, across a broad spectrum of securities. This downward trend is fueled by widespread pessimism, negative investor sentiment, and often a reaction to adverse macroeconomic factors. The current cycle of the market, signs of market shifts, and reaching the lowest level in key economic indicators can precipitate a bear market. Here are some potential benefits associated with each market condition:

Bull Market Benefits:

  • Wealth Creation: Investors can see substantial gains as the value of stocks, digital assets, and other investments rises.
  • Economic Growth: A rising market can lead to increased consumer spending and investment, boosting economic activities.
  • Increased Investment Opportunities: New enterprises and initial public offerings (IPOs) often occur during bull markets, providing more investment opportunities.
  • Positive Sentiment: General optimism makes it easier to raise capital for businesses and ventures.

Bear Market Benefits:

  • Buying Opportunities: Lower asset prices can provide buying opportunities for value investors looking for underpriced stocks or digital assets.
  • Potential for High Returns: Buying during a bear market can lead to significant gains when the market eventually rebounds.
  • Risk Management Skills: Investors learn to navigate through volatility and improve their investment strategies, focusing on long-term horizons and diversification.

In summary, while bull markets are characterized by growth and optimism fueled by factors like rate cuts and spot ETFs supporting crypto bull markets, bear markets are marked by decline and caution, often instigated by negative shifts in macroeconomic factors. Both market conditions offer unique opportunities and challenges to investors.

Conclusion: How to Tell if a Bull Run is Over

Identifying the end of a bull run involves interpreting a combination of technical data, market sentiment, and broader economic indicators. While no single indicator can provide a definitive signal, a holistic approach that includes these factors can offer substantial foresight, helping to mitigate risks and capitalize on potential opportunities. For both traditional and crypto markets, staying informed and responsive to these signs is crucial in navigating the complexities of trading and investing.


What is a bull run in crypto?

A bull run in crypto is a period characterized by sustained upward price movements and significantly increased market volumes. This phase is often driven by a surge in crypto adoption, positive retail market sentiment, and, often, favorable fundamental factors such as technological advancements or regulatory clarity.

When is the next crypto bull run?

Crypto bull runs are notoriously hard to predict due to the market’s high volatility and sensitivity to a wide range of stimuli, from macroeconomic factors to rumors of new market entrants. Historically, factors such as a reduction in supply on exchanges, widespread adoption news, and significant global financial shifts can hint at the onset of a new bull phase. However, predicting the exact timing can be as tricky as hitting a curveball in baseball.

What is a bear market?

A bear market is characterized by sustained downward price movements and a general decline in market sentiment. In the crypto world, bear markets are often triggered by bad news, such as regulatory crackdowns or major hacks, coupled with negative retail market sentiment. A bear market can lead to pessimism and withdrawal, often exacerbating the downward trend as more holders seek to liquidate their positions.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this article are not financial or investing advice. The information provided in this article is the author’s opinion only and should not be considered as offering trading or investing recommendations. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. The cryptocurrency market suffers from high volatility and occasional arbitrary movements. Any investor, trader, or regular crypto users should research multiple viewpoints and be familiar with all local regulations before committing to an investment.