Sunday 28 March 2021 1:46 pm

Bitcoin consolidates above $55,000 as a huge month beckons for crypto

Bitcoin’s rollercoaster journey through March is drawing to a close with relative calm as the market-leading cryptocurrency appears to be consolidating.

Following weeks of remarkable highs and mystifying dips, Bitcoin now looks to have settled above the $55,000 line.

A period of sideways movement could be just the tonic that traders have been clamouring for after repeated attempts to climb above $60,000 lost their grip since setting an all-time-high of $61,701 more than two weeks ago.

Despite taking the landmark figure with some conviction, the high didn’t last long as the market became overheated and overstretched, tumbling back to $56,000. A week of volatility chased the peak with further dips and fruitless lifts.

Over the last week, the narrative has been set to backdrop of uncertainty surrounding US bond yields and options closures looking like the teeth of bears which threatened to signal a sizeable correction for Bitcoin.

Some commentators were even suggesting a massive drop was on the horizon, while others had more conservative views that a quiet spell beckoned before the wave of institutional investment carried BTC to new highs.

Of particular interest to many long-term investors is the fact that this has been one of the first spells of weekend trading in months that hasn’t been wildly eventful. On the few occasions where weekend trading has been flat, it has often signalled a robust consolidation or even coiling prior to a significant rise in price.

Too much, too soon

One factor many observers have agreed upon with BTC’s numerous and unsuccessful assaults to hold ground above $60,000 has been the issue of overstretching and the movement being too much, too soon.

Under normal circumstances, a sustained period of relatively horizontal trading heralds the return of confidence to an unsettled market. However, in the case of Bitcoin, it is likely that the bigger investors are anticipating an event.

In mainstream stock markets, a similar pattern to what is shaping up in the cryptocurrency charts often occurs while traders are waiting on certain pieces of information – such as an earnings report. Stock markets will also experience low trading volumes during this kind of sideways movement.

Bitcoin’s trading volume – although often low over weekends – has been showing signs of erosion of late, and seems to be echoing a stock market awaiting news.

Quite what that news might be is something of a mystery. However, it is likely that BTC just needs a rest after a lot of activity and the crescendo of $6bn options expiring on Friday.

There was huge concern that the options expiry might send BTC into a much-anticipated freefall and, as yet, no cracks appear to be showing on the surface.

Instead, the market is looking relatively calm which, as many experienced traders will be aware, is often a signal in itself that something is looming on the horizon.

Past options expirations, albeit none as sizeable as Friday’s, have largely been followed by a pump – something which seems to work against the current narrative of expecting a correction.

Key moment coming up

As always, the volatility of cryptocurrencies mean it is almost impossible to decipher market intentions, but there is a key moment coming up that should be watched very closely.

The close of April will see another significant options expiry and it is shaping up to bigger than Friday’s event. Interestingly, many data collection sites are finding the majority of bets on Bitcoin’s price high in April are centred around $80,000.

Notably, there are also a significant number of traders placing their expectation chips at $120,000 – twice as many, it should be highlighted, as those who are favouring the odds at $60,000.

Considering the fact BTC has ultimately failed to hold above $60k so far, the level of confidence in $80,000 seems almost inconceivable. However, it is desperately hard to ignore the numbers.