Volatile Price Moves on Monday Contrast to Recent Calm Waters

Bitcoin’s decline on Monday contrasts to the asset’s lack of movement over the past six weeks. Bitcoin recently fell nearly 4% over the past 24 hours to trade just above $28,000, but spent a good portion of the day below that level.

The decline follows lower prices in two of the last three trading days.

But prior to these drops, starting in mid March, BTC price fluctuations have been more uneventful.

Indeed, since March 20 when bitcoin was changing hands at $28,270, BTC has moved only about .002%.

The weekly Relative Strength (RSI) Index for BTC actually declined by 8% over the same period, giving birth to competing interpretations of that development. The first is that momentum is diverging from price, a traditionally bearish event for prices.

An alternative interpretation is that BTC has gotten cheaper, even as prices have risen. Which interpretation one chooses to anchor to is likely based on a number of factors, including portfolio size, cost basis and risk management.

Still, given BTC’s relatively low weekly trading volume since March, the aforementioned price-momentum divergence does not appear to have a lot of negative conviction behind it. On the contrary, it fits within a narrative of a recently tame crypto environment.

Admittedly, the consecutive weeks starting April 10 and April 17, provided a bout of excitement as the 7% increase in the former was offset by a 9% decline in the latter. Bitcoin’s push above $30,000 on April 11 pushed the asset through a significant psychological barrier, but with new catalysts being relatively scant, BTC retreated slightly.

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A lack of catalysts applies to the bearish side as well for BTC. Outside of concerns regarding the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stance towards crypto and the potential for prohibitive legislation, a lack of catalysts applies to both sides of the trade at the moment.

What also appears to be lacking for bitcoin, despite its reputation to the contrary, is volatility. The Average True Range (ATR) for bitcoin has fallen 65% year-to-date, even as bitcoin’s price has soared 75% over this period.

Ultimately, while the bitcoin trading waters have been shaky over the past 24 hours, they have been calm for the better part of two months.

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Edited by James Rubin.

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