Range-bound Bitcoin price opens the door for altcoins to move higher

Bitcoin remains pinned below $58,000 while Ethereum price soars to new highs and the number of ETH held on centralized exchanges falls.

Ether (ETH) took charge as a new month begins and the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization rallied to a new all-time high at $3,338. This has many analysts shouting out that a new ‘altcoin season’ has commenced. Meanwhile, Bitcoin  (BTC) price is continuing to meet resistance around the $56,000 to $58,000 level. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that since dropping to a low of $2,160 on April 25, the price of Ether has rallied 54% to a new record high at $3,324 on May 3 as Monday’s 12% spike lifted the top altcoin above the $3,300 level for the first time in history.

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

While a majority of crypto traders are celebrating Ether’s price breakout, which has helped elevate project co-founder Vitalik Buterin to the crypto billionaire club, bearish traders are en route to heavy losses as nearly every one of the 76,000 put option contracts that are set to expire on April 7 will become worthless if Ether price manages to stay above $3,100.

And it’s not just Ether that has been performing well as of late. In the past 2 months, the altcoin market as a whole has seen its value increase 119% and flipped the 2017 peak into a new support level.

Ether HODL rates rise

According to Glassnode, an on-chain analytics firm,  the amount of Ether being held long term has been on the rise since late 2020 and this could be a contributing factor propelling the multi-month rally.

Ethereum HODL waves. Source: Glassnode

The chart above showing “Ethereum HODL waves” indicates that “coins appear to be maturing from 1-week to over 6-months old since late 2020 (blue arrows),” with the “proportion of coins aged 1-month to 6-months progressively increasing in thickness suggesting HODLing coins accumulated in the early bull market remains a favored strategy.”

Glassnode also pointed out that a large volume of Ether has been removed from exchange wallets in 2021, with 10 instances of withdrawals in excess of 200k Ether per day taking place in just 4 months as institutional demand and decentralized finance (DeFi) use grows.

Ethereum supply in smart contracts vs. balance on exchanges. Source: Glassnode

As seen on the chart above, the amount of Ether held on exchanges has been on the decline since September 2020 which coincided with a noticeable increase in the amount of Ether held in decentralized finance smart contracts.

Currently, the amount of Ether locked in smart contracts is outpacing the amount held in centralized exchange reserves.

Altcoins outpace Bitcoin for now

With Bitcoin still struggling to secure a daily close above $58,000, altcoins continue to make the case for an emerging altseason.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Waves (WAVES) was the breakout star of the day with its token price surging 41% to a record high at $36.41. Ethereum Classic (ETC) also rallied 15% to a new all-time high at $50.90.

After rallying 17.84% to $5,777 in the past 24-hrs, Maker (MKR) is now the top-ranked decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol with a total value locked of $10.92 trillion.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.29 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 46.6%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Bulls eye the $19.5K resistance but low volume keeps Bitcoin price sideways

Declining volume and resistance at $19,500 are pinning Bitcoin price into a tightening range.

Today was a relatively uneventful day for Bitcoin (BTC) as the price continues to consolidate into a tighter range. 

As mentioned by Cointelegraph contributor Rakesh Upadhyay, Bitcoin price spent the weekend consolidating within a bull pennant and the breakout to $19,418 was quickly stamped out by overhead resistance.

After retouching the pennant trendline, the price gave way, falling below the 20-MA on the 4-hour time frame and briefly losing the $19,000 mark.

Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Generally, most traders seem to agree that after a raging 93% rally from $10,300 to $19,888, a period of consolidation is necessary. Cointelegraph analyst Micheal van de Poppe said:

“On the higher timeframe, Bitcoin is still acting as it was last week. We are still acting in the all-time high resistance zone. I still have my eyes on $16K, which we bounced from, and $14K as these areas still could be retested as support. Holding $19K is important and if we have a daily close below $18.9K I think we’ll fall through.”

On the daily and 4-hour timeframe traders will note that the price is still notching lower highs and higher lows, a sign that the price range is beginning to narrow.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Currently the price is still holding within the pennant trendline as support but a breakthrough the structure will require a high volume move as there is persistent overhead resistance at $19,500.

As mentioned in previous analysis, a drop below the $18,800 level will see BTC search for support at $17,900, and below that the $16,000 to $15,750 range.

For the short term, risk-averse traders are likely to keep a close eye on the 4-hour chart to see if the price can again find support above the 20-MA in order to burst through the pennant. It is imporant to note that this move will require signifanct volume to avoid rejection in the $19,400-$19,500 resistance zone.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Typically, during Bitcoin’s consolidation phases altcoins pump higher but that has not been the case this time.

While a selection of DeFi tokens and other obscure altcoins have moved higher, the majority of the top-20 coins are in the red today.

This is possibly due to the fact that investors are reluctant to shift funds into altcoins while the Bitcoin price is in such an indecisive position.

Experienced crypto investors know that a strong bullish breakout from BTC could result in altcoin-to-BTC pairs being crushed, whereas a bearish breakdown in BTC price tends to result in BTC and USD altcoin pairs receiving an equally catastrophic pummeling.

A few standouts of the day are, AAVE with a 8.54% gain, Monero (XMR) which moved 5.19% higher and Waves (WAVES) which has rallied 6.23%.

According to CoinMarketCap, the overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $566.5 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance index currently at 62.6%.

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