Bitcoin prices swung higher Thursday, as a sense of calm returned to the cryptocurrency market following a prolonged period of volatile moves.
Bitcoin (BTC/USD) was trading near session highs at 12:55 BST, having gained 8.5% to $2,457.14, according to Bitstamp. Prices opened at $2,294.41 and have been trekking higher ever since.
At its current valuation, the bitcoin market is worth $40.25 billion on supplies of roughly 16.46 million.
It has been a wild couple of months for the cryptocurrency market. After reaching an all-time high in mid-June, bitcoin corrected 20% as the debate over scaling came to a head. For now, it appears that the majority of the blockchain community (by hash power) has agreed to adopt the SegWit protocol, which should be enough to avoid a hard fork and eventual chain split on August 1.
Goldman Sachs says bitcoin is poised to re-test the $3,000 level and could go as high as $3,700 in the not-too-distant future. In a note to clients, head of technical strategy Sheba Jafari said the digital payment system’s recent swing lows have the potential to “act as strong support” in the short term. She added that “the balance of signals appear to be shifting more to a positive tone.”
Just two weeks earlier, Jafari predicted a large drop in bitcoin as prices retreated from record levels. Bitcoin has been the world’s best-performing currency in six of the last seven years.
The total market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was back above $83 billion on Thursday after plunging to $60 billion over the weekend. Ethereum was up more than 10% during early-morning trade. Litecoin was down roughly 1%.
Technical Analysis: NEO Jumps as Broad Markets Turns Lower
As the new waves of regulatory changes keep on hitting the segment, the major cryptocurrencies are mostly lower today. After the major update of Ethereum, and the recent surge in the price of Bitcoin, choppy conditions developed, with no clear short-term trend in most of the coins.
NEO is the best performing major today, as it surged back to the $30 level after a frustrating period that was dominated by a downward drift. The coin is now just below the key resistance level, and it could be ready to test the $34 level, with a further target found at $40. The long-term picture still looks positive, with strong support levels at $27 and $25.
NEO/USDT, Daily Chart Analysis
Ethereum is in a consolidation after the encouraging rally towards the end of last week, while Bitcoin is also correction after its stellar rise. The two largest coins pulled the rest of the majors lower, while Ripple remained very volatile after touching the $0.30 level yesterday, trading below the $0.26 again.
Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and IOTA are all a bit lower today, while Ethereum Classic found some relative strength, although it remains stuck in a declining short-term trend. All in all, the segment is still in a clear uptrend, so let’s see which coins are the most promising regarding the short-term picture.
Bitcoin Takes a Breather as Prices Drop Below $5,700
The world’s most talked about digital currency pulled back early Tuesday, a sign that the latest rally is nearing its end.
BTC/USD Price Levels
After a positive start to the week, bitcoin prices have reversed back toward $5,600 on Tuesday. The BTC/USD exchange rate opened up a nearly $200 trading range on Tuesday. At press time, the pair was down 1.3% at $5,653. Bitcoin remains in overbought territory, based on the RSI, with underlying momentum maintained.
Bitcoin’s current price level translates into a market cap of roughly $92.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That nearly triples the Ethereum blockchain, which is currently valued at $31.2 billion. When assessed by market cap, bitcoin and Ethereum combined account for more than two-thirds of the cryptocurrency asset class.
The BTC/USD has registered a five-day gain of 15.%, which is equivalent to $772. The pair’s 52-week range is $627.77 – $5,861.15.
Analysts Struggle to Explain Rally
Analysts and market participants are struggling to explain bitcoin’s latest upsurge. The uptrend seems to have begun around the time of news suggesting Chinese policymakers may soon relax their ban on cryptocurrency. However, this alone doesn’t explain the 18% gain over the past five days.
Another plausible catalyst is the anticipated hard fork of the bitcoin blockchain in November, a plan that would benefit existing holders of the cryptocurrency.
The developers behind the Segwit2x protocol have identified a bitcoin upgrade approximately 90 days after the activation of Segregated Witnesses. The controversial plan, which aims to increase the transaction capacity of the blockchain, will occur at block 494,784.
Bitcoin Gold was also on some traders’ wish list before the blockchain community raised suspicion over the project. Several red flags have been identified by Gert-Jaap Galsbergen, which you can read here.
For now, bitcoin’s bull market appears to be taking a breather. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, it doesn’t take much to stoke investor exuberance in a market that has gained nearly 500% since Jan. 1.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock
Technical Analysis: Ripple Breaks Out Amid Ethereum Upgrade
The major cryptocurrencies are on the rise once again today, with Ethereum’s major Byzantium update being in the center of attention. The second largest blockchain network has been updated through a hard fork, as usual, and the successful lock-in led to an initial surge in the price of the ETH token. The digital currency recovered above the $330 level after Sunday’s pull-back, but so far it failed to durably break-out above the prior swing high just above $340.
With the long-term momentum readings still being neutral, the coin could be on the verge of testing the $380 resistance soon, with the all-time high near $400 being the last major technical obstacle. Below $330 further support is found at $300 and $285.
ETH/USD, Daily Chart Analysis
Bitcoin is also on the rise after dipping below $5500 during the weekend, and the most valuable coin is joined in the rally by Ripple, which most likely finished its short-term correction and could be ready for another leg higher. The other majors are also generally higher, with NEO and IOTA being ahead of the pack, while the rest of the market trading near unchanged. As the broad rally seems to be well and alive, let’s see how the short-term charts are shaping up.
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