Bitcoin on Track for Narrow Weekly Gain as Outlook Brightens; Breakout Imminent?

Bitcoin edged slightly lower on Friday but was on track for a narrow weekly gain, as crypto markets showed renewed stability following a tumultuous end to 2018.

Bitcoin Price Update

Bitcoin’s price is currently trading as low as $3,782.68 on Gemini and as high as $3,911.00 on Bitfinex, based on latest available information. Aggregate data courtesy of CoinMarketCap show an average price of $3,817.72, a decline of 1.9% over 24 hours. Despite this pullback, bitcoin is on track for a weekly gain of 1.5%. Although hardly inspiring, the narrow fluctuation means stability is slowly returning to the market.

This can also be confirmed by the bitcoin volatility index, which tracks daily fluctuations in the underlying price over a 30-day or longer timeframe. Since peaking at 5.98% on Dec. 18, the 30-day volatility index has declined to 4.53%.

Bitcoin’s daily trade volumes reached $4.5 billion on Friday, with spot markets making up roughly 85% of the exchange-based activity. At current values, BTC has a total capitalization of $66.6 billion for an overall market dominance rate of 51.1%.

Breakout Coming?

The leading digital currency remains trapped in a long-term bear market but could be on the verge of a bigger breakout in the near future. The longer bitcoin holds at current levels, the more likely it will avoid another bearish correction that exposes new multi-year lows. With a firm bottom in place, attention now shifts to key market developments related to regulation and institutional adoption.

At the time of writing, Intercontinental Exchange is still on track to launch its bitcoin futures platform by the end of January. Hacked speculated last month that a delay was likely as ICE awaits key regulatory approvals, but that shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. Read: Bitcoin Pulls Back from Three-Week Highs After Rapid Ascent; Bakkt Postponed Again?

The launch date is expected to be clarified sometime in the near future.

There’s strong reason to believe that Bakkt will be a major hit with investors. For starters, the company has already raised $182.5 million in private funding from the likes of Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Alan Howard and Microsoft, among others. It will also introduce custody solutions to a market that traditional investors say desperately needs it. To recap: Bakkt is prepared to offer physically-settled bitcoin futures, which means actual units of BTC will deposited into investors’ accounts from a digital warehouse at the end of the contract period.

In terms of bitcoin’s actual price, a technical indicator tracked by Bloomberg suggests the digital currency is enjoying its longest buying streak in six months. The GTI Vera Convergence Divergence indicator is flashing a ‘buy’ signal as of Wednesday.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi