A Bitcoin paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. Image Credit: Reuters

Investors looking to historical data for clues on whether Bitcoin's current slump is drawing to a close may be disappointed to see that price rebounds have tended to lag those posted by the stock market.

The largest digital currency by market value rarely sits within a close range of its all-time highs, according to data complied in a report by Bitooda Holdings Inc.

By comparison, major US stock indices seldom fall below a 10 per cent correction from record highs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have only experienced two brief bear markets since 2014, including one at the onset of the pandemic.

What is a crypto winter?
The chilling term 'crypto winter' refers to a sharp slump, followed by a drop-off in trading and months of market doldrums - a phenomenon that memorably befell the crypto market in 2018.

Bitcoin's price plunged by more than 80 per cent to as low as $3,100 from the end of 2017 through December of the following year, a period characterised by the boom-and-bust of initial coin offerings and several big banks shelving their plans to start cryptocurrency trading desks.

During that same time period, Bitcoin sustained lengthy drawdowns before hitting new heights, and currently sits in its fourth major dip. The cryptocurrency has hit a record-high 124 times since 2014, while the S&P and Nasdaq reached fresh highs 483 and 482 times respectively, according to Sam Doctor, Bitooda's head of research.

Bitcoin's most recent peak of almost $69,000 in November was achieved during an easy-money environment, with regulators dropping interest rates as the coronavirus pandemic threated financial stability, according Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers LLC. Now, as the US central bank signals rate hikes to curb inflation, the token could have a more difficult path upwards, digging itself out of a rout.

"It will require more patience," Sosnick said by phone. "I don't see the same type of circumstances where money is just going to flood in the way we saw before."

Bitcoin was down less than 2 per cent to $43,103 on Thursday.