Bitcoin Price Update: BTC/USD Approaches Longest Bear Market in History

Bitcoin’s trading range continued to narrow on Friday, as market players remained on the sidelines following CBOE’s abrupt pullout from the crypto ETF race earlier this week. The leading digital currency is exactly one week away from enduring its longest bear market in history, highlighting the extent of the price collapse since December 2017.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price swung back below $3,600 on Friday after reaching a high of $3,616.09 in the prior session. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s average price was down 0.5% to $3,581.90, according to CoinMarketCap.

On individual exchanges, bitcoin traded as low as $3,543 on Bittrex and Bitstamp, and as high as $3,611 on Bitfinex. The following chart, which is based on Bitstamp data, continues to show weak underlying momentum.

Despite heavier than normal circulation, bitcoin’s price action has been practically motionless this week, as a lack of trading catalysts kept the market confined to a narrow range. Firm support is located at $3,550, a key long-term inflection point for the bulls. On the opposite side of the ledger, resistance is located near $3,700.

Trade volumes reached $5.3 billion in the last 24 hours, fairly consistent with the levels seen for much of January. Spot markets account for more than 87% of transactions, according to the latest available data.

At current values, bitcoin has a total market cap of $63.6 billion. That represents 52.5% of the entire cryptocurrency market. A little more than two months ago, bitcoin had a market cap of around $110 billion.

Longest Bear Market in History?

Last week, Hacked reported that cryptocurrencies were less than a month away from their longest bear market in history. As of Friday, the crypto bear market had reached 398 days, which is roughly three weeks shy of the all-time record set in 2014-15. During that stretch, the bear market lasted 420 days.

Looking specifically at bitcoin, we are about seven days away from hitting the all-time record for longest bear market. As cryptocurrency analyst Josh Rager noted, bitcoin’s longest correction spanned from Nov. 2013 to Jan. 2015, lasting 410 days in total.

“Very soon, you will be able to say that you survived the longest crypto market correction in BTC history,” Rager said.

The hope that a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would kick start a bullish revival in the market was shot down earlier this week after the Chicago Board Options Exchange pulled its application for the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin Trust. Gabor Gurbacs, who heads VanEck’s digital asset operation, said the application was temporarily withdrawn as parties continue to work with regulators “to build appropriate market structure frameworks for a bitcoin ETF.”

More on this story: Crypto Markets See Minor Losses as Investors Shrug Off Bitcoin ETF Withdrawal.

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