In a departure from the price slumps or small gains of recent weeks, most major cryptocurrencies ended higher for the week as investors turned their attention from failed crypto ETF bids to market developments pointing to growth.

Investors were encouraged by news of a new index fund aimed at institutional investors looking to enter the digital currencies market. The Digital Asset Index Fund, run by Morgan Creek Digital and crypto index provider Bitwise, offers the 10 largest digital assets weighted by market capitalization, but the largest component by far is bitcoin (BTC).

Meantime, the Lightning Network, a “second layer” payment protocol, or software that makes the bitcoin network more efficient, surpassed 3,000 nodes in August, an encouraging sign the network’s capacity will continue to expand.

The total crypto market was saved this week from dipping under $200 billion in total market capitalization, following positive news for institutional and individual crypto investors,” Gautam Ivatury, co-founder and CEO of LendLedger, tells ThirtyK.

End of the Down Market?

At about 4 p.m. EDT Friday, bitcoin was trading at $7,037.85, according to ThirtyK data provided by CoinMarketCap, up 5.9 percent from a week before. The cryptocurrency breached the $7,000 level Tuesday and bounced around it for the rest of the week. Bitcoin reached a year-high of more than $17,000 in January.

Ether (ETH) has been hit with recent losses from continued selling by founders of companies that conducted initial coin offerings, but was up 1.6 percent for the week to $283.53 at around 4 p.m. EDT Friday. Litecoin (LTC) was up 6.5 percent for the week at $62.03.

Tone Vays, a cryptocurrency analyst and trader, and former analyst on Wall Street, tells ThirtyK there’s a “small, but reasonable, probabilitybitcoin can make it to $7,500 before the next drop. Only once the price starts trading above previous highs of $8,500, would he start considering bear market to be over, he said.

But Elliott Prechter, head of computer analysis at Elliott Wave International, tells ThirtyK that “the big bull market is over.” The current bear market should be significant enough to correct the entire price history of bitcoin since its inception, he said.

“That means further declines ahead, especially in the altcoins, some of which have already gone to zero.”

Beyond Experimentation

Ivatury, for one, is closely watching ongoing investigations into crypto exchanges. The U.S. Department of Justice, working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, launched a criminal investigation into manipulation of bitcoin prices this May. In June, a University of Texas research paper pegged bitcoin’s price leap at the end of 2017 mostly to manipulation of tether (USDT), a controversial cryptocurrency token its creators say is backed by $1 for each token issued.

Thus far, Ivatury adds, blockchain technology has primarily been applied to the banking and insurance sectors. Potential usages extend far beyond these industries, he said, and he’s also eager to see what additional sectors become early adopters.

What was initially a highly buzzworthy yet untested field is fast moving beyond experimentation and gaining in maturity,” Ivatury said.

This past week market participants were also encouraged by news of additional partnerships in the space. This week, for example, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange announced they were partnering with technology firm Anquan, Deloitte Consulting and the Nasdaq stock exchange to create a secure platform for selling tokenized securities.

A Market That’s Maturing

Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, says that many digital currency market investors are focused on the bigger picture and do believe cryptocurrencies are the future of money.

Such investors are seeing for themselves how more and more global financial institutions, major corporations and household-name investors are now working with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the technology that underpins them,” he says.

“Increasingly, savvy investors are aware that what is taking place is a maturation of a relatively new market, hence the highs and lows almost every other week,” Green said.

Deborah Lynn Blumberg is a Houston-based freelance writer specializing in business, finance and health and wellness. Her work has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, The Christian Science Monitor and Newsday. Previously, she was a reporter at Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal.