The crypto market cycle and, to a lesser extent any other financial market, consists of four phases.
Accumulation begins when the last cycle ends. Sellers have sold, the price has bottomed out or stabilised, so the smart money starts buying.
The accumulation phase can potentially last very long. The early adopters start buying when the price bottoms out because they know the drill, newcomers tend to wait a bit longer.
The markup is the bull market phase. Prices go up, buyers keep buying, sellers keep buying, and newcomers are like, "whoa, I don't wanna miss out on that".
The distribution phase occurs when the bull run starts cooling down. Some buyers stop buying, and become sellers.
Ideally, these are the first moments of the last phase where it makes sense to sell.
There can be a relatively short window during which selling assets makes financial sense.
The longer you wait, the less likely you are to turn a profit.
The markdown phase coincides with the bear market. Fear is growing, greed is becoming a thing of the past, and people begin to fear the market will die away completely.
During this phase, you shouldn't sell unless you absolutely have to. And if you absolutely have to, it generally means mistakes were made at earlier stages.
By contrast, this is a good time to buy.