Bitcoin has mostly traded in a tight, low-volume range Monday while some profit-taking from bitcoin into ether is appearing on the ETH/BTC charts.
- Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $26,822 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 2.3% over the previous 24 hours.
- Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $25,759- $27,447 (CoinDesk 20)
- BTC very near its 10-hour and 50-hour moving averages on the hourly chart, a sideways signal for market technicians.
Bitcoin’s price action has stagnated Monday, trading in a $27,000-$27,200 range for many hours, according to CoinDesk 20 data. The lack of movement follows a Sunday when bitcoin cracked an all-time high of $28,352, fueled by a bull run sparked on Dec. 25.
A bit of a respite is par for the course, according to over-the-counter trader Alessandro Andreotti. “I think it’s just a minor retracement, a little pause after a week of all-time highs,” Andreotti told CoinDesk. “BTC is definitely still in bullish territory.”
Read More: Whale Sightings Become Scarce, Removing Downward Pressure on Bitcoin
After Sunday’s run that saw over $4 billion in volume on major CoinDesk 20 exchanges, Monday’s spot trading tally is much lower, at $1.8 billion as of press time. “Given the speed of the rise yesterday, especially after the last few days’ rally, a slight contraction is normal,” said David Lifchitz, chief investment officer of quant trading firm ExoAlpha.
“Bitcoin continues on its strong upwards path with more retail investors now moving into bitcoin over the holiday break,” noted Jason Lau, chief operating officer of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin. However, flat spot volume may not be a trend heading into next year, according to Lau. “With the [U.S. economic] stimulus package being signed, the appeal of bitcoin as a store of value could continue into 2021.”
In the derivatives space, futures liquidations have helped to fuel bitcoin’s recent price run. This is evident in the number of liquidations – the equivalent of a margin call in traditional markets – on BitMEX. Over the past three days more than $116 million in liquidations occurred, with shorts being favored as buy liquidations hit $65 million.
“At this stage there is a clear lack of sellers as all the leveraged shorts are liquidated,” quant trading firm QCP Capital wrote in its Monday investor note. “The bull story remains clear: Growing institutional adoption of BTC is driving price higher and is feeding the retail FOMO, which then extends across all of crypto.”
Other analysts agree with QCP that bitcoin’s price push is allowing other cryptocurrencies, particularly ether, to start getting more attention. “I think the BTC price slowdown is giving some breath for the altcoin season,” said Misha Alefirenko, founder of…