More turbulence on the markets – and it’s not over yet.
We’ll start with a brief sketch of the last week in the bitcoin markets, and then move on to some of the wider factors in play as we eye the next month or so.
Bitcoin hit a local low 10 days ago after the crash from $7,400, bottoming at $6,120 (Bitfinex). Since then it has made two successive higher lows, although yesterday’s was only just higher: $6,170 on 11th, before a mini-rally to just under $6,600, and then another fall to $6,203 a few hours ago, after another surprise $200 drop.
Moving out to the one-day chart – our preferred timeframe for the bigger picture – we see BTC is drifting in a neutral-to-bearish way. Volatility is decreasing, as is clear from the size of the swings in price over the past seven or eight months. Zoomed out, the bitcoin chart looks like the path of a bouncing ball, losing energy and momentum every time it touches the $6k floor.
For all that, we can’t call whether this bear market will end with a bang or a whimper: a final capitulation and hard rally, or a slow attenuation before price gradually picks up. Almost from day to day sentiment changes, oscillating between gloom and excited expectation. Both, clearly, have been misplaced each time – so far.
The month ahead
Looking at some of the external factors in play, another decision by the SEC on the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF is due on 30 September. At this point, most traders have probably priced in another delay. The final decision may well be postponed until the spring, though there are no guarantees. That will, as we and many others have commented before, fundamentally change the game in terms of investor confidence and inflow of money.
Before that, we have the expiration of CBOE futures tomorrow – something analysts have previously noted as a catalyst for significant downward price movements. Then there is the meeting of MtGox creditors on 26 September with the exchange’s trustee, at which he will update them on the assets held. Creditors will have another month to register their claims. This could potentially see BTC sold by creditors receiving funds back; however, it does mean the full 160,000 BTC held by the trustee won’t be dumped at market price.
Thus there are numerous factors that hint at considerable volatility over the coming weeks, likely compounded by the lower than usual trading volumes.
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