Bitcoin on Track for Sixth Consecutive Monthly Loss; Will February Bring Reprieve?
Bitcoin’s price showed little upside on Thursday, as the leading digital currency rounds out its sixth consecutive month in the red. A reluctance by the bulls to capitalize on the $3,500-$4,000 price range suggests further downside is likely in the short term.
The bitcoin price is currently trading as low as $3,414 on Gemini and as high as $3,503 on Bitfinex. Aggregate data courtesy of CoinMarketCap show an average price of $3,463.84, which represents a decline of 0.5% from the previous day.
Trading in BTC remains elevated, based on overall volume. Roughly $5.8 billion worth of bitcoin traded hands on virtual currency exchanges in the last 24 hours. BitMEX, a leading derivatives platform, has seen its share of total volume fall to around 11%. During the depths of the bear market in November and December, the exchange was processing roughly one-third of bitcoin’s daily trade volume. As Hacked recently reported, BitMEX has shut down its operations in the United States and Canadian province of Quebec over regulatory concerns.
Bitcoin’s technical indicators continue to show a lopsided market in favor of the bears. Not only have momentum and price action stalled, the loss of $3,550 as a crucial long-term support could pave the way for a steeper drop in the near term. This puts the December low near $3,100 in play.
Another Month in the Red
At the time of writing, bitcoin is on track to lose 7.5% in January, which would mark its sixth consecutive month in the red. The selloffs have intensified over the past two months, beginning on the eve of the bitcoin cash hard fork in mid-November. Over that stretch, bitcoin has fallen through multiple support regions, chief among them being the $6,000 price floor. This level is commonly cited as the break-even rate for crypto miners.
Bitcoin’s January losing streak will likely extend to five years later today. This normally puts the digital currency in a good position in February, as demonstrated by the past four years of consecutive gains during the month. However, another strong February performance appears unlikely given the underlying bearish pressure in the market. As reported above, bitcoin appears poised to test new yearly lows in the short term. So far, no recovery attempt since December has been sustainable.
Bitcoin’s most ardent supporters will have ample opportunity to bolster their position in the coming months. 2019 could certainly shape up to be ‘accumulation year’ for long-term holders who believe in bitcoin’s emerging status as a store of value.
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.
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