Bitcoin is struggling to make gains as an expected low-volume weekend could push price further down. Meanwhile, the increasing number of active Ethereum addresses this year is a testament to the network’s growth.
- Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $18,019 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Slipping 2% over the previous 24 hours.
- Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $17,593-$18,404 (CoinDesk 20)
- BTC slightly above its 10-hour moving average but below the 50-hour on the hourly chart, a sideways signal for market technicians.
The price of bitcoin fell to as low as $17,593 Friday, according to CoinDesk 20 data. The price has recovered somewhat, hovering around $18,000 territory, and was at $17,962 as of press time.
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“BTC looks like it lost momentum,” said Misha Alefirenko, co-founder of VelvetFormula, a digital asset liquidity provider. “If buyers are not stepping in soon, we may see a testing of the $16,400-$16,900 range over the weekend.”
Friday is shaping up to be a better day in terms of volume at over $1 billion total for the eight major exchanges tracked by the CoinDesk 20 as of press time. Thursday’s figure was $965 million. However, weekends almost always have lower volume, such as last weekend’s $578 million daily average, according to CoinDesk 20 data.
“It’s a fairly balanced market at the moment, with the fresh inflows from institutional money met with profit taking from some existing large players as well as increased miners’ hedging,” noted Jean-Marc Bonnefous, partner at investment firm Tellurian Capital.
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The derivatives market is also a factor, according to Bonnefous. “There is a big concentration around the $16,000 strike for the BTC options expiry on 25th December, which acts as a polarizing target short term,” he said. The $16,000 strike is the third-most popular strike point in the bitcoin options market, based on data from aggregator Skew.
“We are now seeing public companies like MicroStrategy using leverage to acquire a larger position in bitcoin,” said Michael Gord, chief executive officer of quant crypto firm Global Digital Assets.
December doldrums may continue, but many analysts are hyped up about bitcoin’s potential in 2021. “Next year, as annual budgets reopen, I expect a huge surge in demand to enter the industry from enterprises and institutional investors,” Global Digital Asset’s Gord said.
“Macro matters and, in particular, risks surrounding Brexit may rattle equity markets and result in the U.S. dollar potentially strengthening,” said Denis Vinokourov, head of research for…