The Bitcoin price chart (2010-2020).
So, in this sense, the definition of a bull market depends on what time frame we’re talking about. Generally, when we’re using the term bull market, we are talking about a time frame of months or years. As with other market analysis techniques, higher time frame trends will have more validity than lower time frame trends.
As such, there may be prolonged periods of decline in a high timeframe bull market. These counter-trend price movements have a notoriety for being especially volatile – though this can vary greatly.
Bull market examples
Some of the most well-known examples of bull markets come from the stock market. These are the times when stock prices and market indexes (such as the Nasdaq 100) are continually rising.
As far as the global economy is concerned, it fluctuates between bull and bear markets. These economic cycles can last years, even decades. Some say that the bull market starting from the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis and lasting until the coronavirus pandemic was “the longest bull market in history.” This may or may not be true – as we’ve said, high time frame bull markets can be a matter of perspective.
Even so, let’s take a look at the long-term performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). We can see that it basically has been in a century-long bull market. Certainly, there are periods of decline that can last for years, such as 1929 or 2008, but the overall trend is still pointing upwards.
Performance of the DJIA since 1915.
Some argue that we could see a similar trend with Bitcoin. But we can’t really tell if and when Bitcoin will face a multi-year bear market. It’s also worth noting that most other cryptocurrencies (i.e., altcoins) will probably never experience similar price appreciation, so be extremely aware of what you invest in.