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Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered

Crypto market’s volatility and potential for profit and loss

The crypto market is known for its high volatility, which refers to the rapid and unpredictable price fluctuations of cryptocurrencies. Market sentiment, recent news events, regulation changes, technological advancements, and general market demand and supply are just a few factors contributing to this volatility. Although volatility offers opportunities for gains, it also exposes traders and investors to high losses.

The adage “Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered” is popular in the financial and crypto markets. It highlights several trading strategies and their outcomes.


Investors who believe prices will rise are known as “bulls” because of their upbeat attitude toward the market. They can profit by purchasing assets for less money and selling them for more. Bulls gain from price uptrends and positive sentiment in the crypto market.


On the other hand, “bears” have a pessimistic perspective and anticipate a decrease in prices. They generate revenue by repurchasing assets at a loss and then selling them at a profit. Bears profit in the cryptocurrency market when there are downtrends and negative sentiment.


“Pigs” stands for avaricious and excessively aggressive traders that take unwarranted risks to maximize earnings. They frequently disregard risk management techniques and hold onto profitable positions for too long, risking losses should market sentiment shift. Pigs are more likely to suffer substantial losses in periods of excessive volatility in the cryptocurrency market.

The significance of methodical trading and risk management makes this adage applicable to the cryptocurrency market. Both bulls and bears can benefit from price changes, but traders must be careful not to act primarily out of greed or fear since this can result in hasty decisions and significant losses.

Bulls: How to capitalize on upward price trends

Rising prices, a positive outlook and a broad conviction that the market will grow are all signs of a bullish crypto market. Bullish tendencies are influenced by various elements, including favorable news, technological developments, acceptance by established institutions and general market confidence.

Investment strategies for capitalizing on upward price trends

To capitalize on upward price trends, investors employ several strategies, as explained below:

Buy and hold (hodl)

Investors that believe in cryptocurrencies buy and hold them for a long time, hoping their value will rise. This strategy is known as buy and hold (hodl).

Technical analysis

Traders use technical analysis to identify potential entry and exit points for trades during upward trends using chart patterns, indicators, and historical price data.

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA)

Regardless of market conditions, investors consistently invest a certain amount of money into cryptocurrencies over time to average their purchasing prices using the DCA approach.

Momentum trading

Momentum trading involves riding the wave of rising prices by purchasing assets that have demonstrated significant upward momentum, intending to sell them before the trend changes.

Examples of bullish strategies in crypto

Bitcoin’s bull run

During the 2017 bull market, Bitcoin (BTC) had a significant price increase, and holders of the cryptocurrency before the rally made sizable gains.

Growth of Ethereum

Another example is the performance of Ether (ETH) during the 2020 boom in decentralized finance (DeFi). Those who bought into Ether during the bullish trend after seeing the potential of DeFi projects benefited from its significant rise.

Altcoin season

Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin frequently see significant price spikes during increased market fervor. During these bull cycles, investors who diversified their holdings and found promising altcoins saw substantial gains.

Related: Bull markets make money, bear markets make opportunities

Bears: How to profit from downward price trends

Declining prices, an unfavorable mood and the broad conviction that the market will continue to fall are the hallmarks of bearish market circumstances in the cryptocurrency market. Bearish tendencies are influenced by bad news, regulatory uncertainty, technology setbacks or general market pessimism.

Techniques for profiting from downward price trends

To profit from downward price trends, traders can employ several strategies:


When bearish trends are projected to persist, traders look for prospective short-selling opportunities using chart patterns and indicators. In this approach, investors borrow cryptocurrencies and then sell them at the going rate, anticipating a price drop. They repurchase the cryptocurrencies at a lower price when the price falls and return them to the lender, keeping the difference as profit.

Inverse ETFs or derivatives

Some platforms offer inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or derivatives that increase in value as the underlying cryptocurrency’s price decreases. They operate under the principle of adopting a position opposite to how the asset or index they track performs.

Options trading

Trading options enable buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies to transact at a predetermined price and within a specific time frame. To benefit from market falls, bearish investors might employ put options, which offer them the right to sell at a specific price.

Put options provide investors the right, but not the obligation, to sell a cryptocurrency at a fixed price within a given time frame, allowing them to profit from a decrease in the digital asset’s value.

Examples of bearish strategies in crypto

Bitcoin bear market (2018–2019)

Following the 2017 bull run, Bitcoin entered a bear market that lasted for several months. During this time, traders using inverse ETFs or short-selling strategies made money from Bitcoin’s falling price.

Altcoin bearish trends

Many altcoins experienced significant price declines under lengthy bearish market circumstances. Traders who accurately predicted these patterns and utilized put or short options on specific altcoins could have made a profit.

Market crash of 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic-related uncertainty in the world economy resulted in a dramatic drop in the cryptocurrency market in March 2020. The market collapse was profitable for bearish investors who expected this downturn and had short positions on cryptocurrencies.

Related: Market correction vs. bear market: Key differences explained

Pigs: Pitfalls to avoid

Pig-like behavior can lead to significant pitfalls and adverse investment outcomes. Investors must recognize the signs of “pig-like” behavior and learn from past incidents to avoid potential pitfalls.

Recognizing the signs of “pig-like” behavior

Some examples of “pig-like” behavior include:

Excessive greed and risk-taking

Pigs frequently succumb to the temptation of quick and big riches, taking on heavily leveraged positions or investing in speculative initiatives that have not been well investigated. They run a serious risk by engaging in this activity, especially in a market as volatile and unreliable as cryptocurrency.

Overtrading and chasing losses

Pigs may overtrade, repeatedly buying and selling cryptocurrencies, and chasing quick returns. This practice is known as “chasing losses.” Furthermore, they might try to recover losses quickly by taking bigger and riskier positions, which could start a cycle of chasing losses and taking impulsive actions.

Ignoring risk management

Pigs frequently fail to use risk management techniques like diversifying their holdings or placing stop-loss orders. Due to their poor risk management, they are susceptible to significant losses during market downturns.

Falling for scams and frauds

Greedy investors may be more prone to falling for fraudulent schemes or scams that promise irrationally high profits. Pigs are frequently the subject of these unscrupulous methods, and such events have been common in the cryptocurrency industry.

Market downturns and FOMO

During market downturns, pigs may display a “fear of missing out” (FOMO) and act irrationally, making purchases at the height of a market cycle and suffering significant losses when prices later drop.

A balanced approach to crypto investing

A cautious attitude toward both bullish and bearish markets, and implementing risk management strategies to guard against potential losses are necessary for a balanced approach to cryptocurrency investment. This strategy enables investors to exploit market opportunities, protect their wealth in the highly unpredictable crypto market, and make well-informed judgments.

Balancing bullish and bearish strategies

A balanced strategy considers both market circumstances rather than concentrating on a bullish or bearish view. It involves a mix of long-term investments based on promising projects with growth potential (bullish) and short-term trades to capitalize on market downturns (bearish). This balance allows investors to profit from both upward and downward market changes.

Risk management techniques

Due to the market’s inherent volatility, risk management is crucial when investing in cryptocurrencies. Several efficient risk management strategies are explained as follows:

  • Diversification: Spreading investments across many cryptocurrencies and projects lowers exposure to the risks associated with specific assets.
  • Position sizing: It helps reduce possible losses by allocating a fraction of the portfolio to any given transaction or investment.
  • Stop-loss orders: Placing stop-loss orders enables traders to immediately close out a position if the price reaches a specific level, limiting losses.
  • Hedging strategies: Hedging can be used to lower risk by protecting against potential losses in the portfolio using derivatives or options.

Long-term perspective

Maintaining a long-term perspective is essential when investing in cryptocurrencies. While short-term investments can result in fast gains, a balanced strategy emphasizes long-term development. Investors that see the long-term potential in projects can cling to their investments amid market downturns and prevent panic selling.

Continuous learning and adaptation

Because the cryptocurrency market is fluid, effective investors constantly review and revise their plans. A well-rounded and balanced investment plan involves remaining open to new concepts and modifying investment strategies in response to market conditions.

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