TL;DR two steps forward, two steps back, brings you closer to the edge of the precipice.
Bitcoin has now drifted sideways for three weeks, on low volume – for what it’s worth, we don’t believe some of the inflated exchange figures we see on CoinMarketCap. Looking at the Bitstamp daily chart, we see volumes are gently dropping. RSI is neutral and has been all month.
That’s not to say things are entirely quiet, though. In these conditions, as we know, the liquidation hunters are busy. They wait for shorts or longs to stack up, and then bump the market in the other direction to liquidate them, pushing the price further in that direction as the orders are margin called and forced to cover. Yesterday, we saw one of these clear the order books for $50-60 in both directions, first up and then down, before the price returned to where it started.
Overall, though, the market is flat and quiet, with just these signs that whales are moving under the surface. But it won’t stay that way for long. Sentiment appears to be turning. After Crypto Twitter declared the bottom was in, more and more analysts are starting to think they spoke too soon. @MoonOverlord, a popular commentator, has drawn attention to the parallel between the calm before the November crash from $6,000 and the current quiet on the markets. If he’s right, bitcoin will break down by the end of the month, heading towards the targets set by the likes of Murad Mahmudov ($1,800).
Feeding into the wider picture, once again Tether (USDT) is cause for concern. After everything went quiet for a few months, Tether is now back in the news thanks to a recent update to their site. This makes it look like USDT is no longer backed by dollars alone (assuming it ever was):
Every tether is always 100% backed by our reserves, which include traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities (collectively, “reserves”).
But it’s not all bad, not by any means. The US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has confirmed its earlier opinion that Ethereum (ETH) and cryptocurrencies like it do not count as securities under U.S. law.
Lastly, Mark Karpeles is facing his verdict on embezzlement and data tampering charges tomorrow. Depending on which way it goes (and it doesn’t look great for Karpeles), it could help draw a line under the MtGox scandal.
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