Cryptocurrency News

70% of BTC dormant for a year — 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week

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Bitcoin (BTC) starts Thanksgiving week in the United States with a return to $37,000 as bulls stubbornly refuse to loosen their grip.

BTC price action remains tantalizingly near 18-month highs as another weekly close provides a fresh taste of bull market momentum.

The largest cryptocurrency continues to hold onto reclaimed ground, and while upside now comes slower than in previous weeks, BTC/USD is up 7% month-to-date.

How could the coming days shape up for Bitcoin?

Macroeconomic data prints provide the opportunity for some snap volatility, while under the hood, the landscape when it comes to Bitcoin’s network fundamentals is as rosy as it has ever been in 2023.

At the same time, supply dynamics are surprising — coins dormant for a year or more now make up over 70% of the supply for the first time, indicating a reluctance among long-term holders to “sell the rip.”

Bitcoin domnaince is also staying strong, leading to hopes that a classic crypto bull market is once again in its early innings.

Cointelegraph takes a look at these factors and more as part of the weekly rundown of all things moving BTC price action in the coming week.

Bitcoin traders maintain BTC price retracement odds

Bitcoin delivered a suitably buoyant weekly close with a trip to $37,500, but subsequently failed to hold that level.

In an ongoing expression of the difficulty of reclaiming higher ground as support, BTC price action is now back around the $37,000 mark as of Nov. 20, per data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView.

“Considerable supply above price & towards $40K,” popular trader Skew noted in part of his latest social media analysis.

“This will take persistent demand for spot BTC to crack imo. Bullish confirmation is seeing limit bids move up closer to price here, that would signal for higher prices & demand.”

With hours to go until the Wall Street open, the sense among some market participants is one of rangebound trading continuing for the short term.

“Bitcoin clearly making a range construction here,” Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, told X subscribers as the weekly candle completed.

“Resistance at $38K, while support at $33-34.5K is the one to watch for long entries. I think we’ll sweep slightly lower (maybe slightly beneath $36K) before we revisit highs. Needs to hold the trend.”

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BTC/USD annotated chart. Michaël van de Poppe/X

The concept of a retracement to test recent liquidity is nothing new. As Cointelegraph reported, downside targets include a trip to $33,000 and even below $31,000.

Unlike its initial push to 18-month highs last week, however, Bitcoin market data shows a much calmer atmosphere among traders, with both open interest (OI) and funding rates staying neutral.

BTC/USD remains up 7% in November — modest gains, yet still the pair’s best performing November month since 2020, per data from monitoring resource CoinGlass.

“Even though the sentiment isn’t great, $BTC is still up ~5% for the month of November,” popular trader Daan Crypto Trades commented on the performance.

“December tends to be a volatile month that puts in big numbers. Bound to see a turbulent end of year I think!”

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BTC/USD monthly returns (screenshot). Source: CoinGlass

Jobs, Fed minutes lead short Thanksgiving macro week

U.S. Thanksgiving week is due to be characterized by a cool set of macroeconomic data releases in a period of relief for crypto traders.

Jobless claims mark one of the highlights of the coming days, these set for release on Nov. 22.

While Bitcoin has overall become less susceptible to macro-induced volatility this year, unemployment surprises have nonetheless succeeded in injecting short-term momentum in the past.

After last week’s data prints showed U.S. inflation cooling faster than markets expected, however, market participants are in “wait and see mode” ahead of the next decision on interest rate changes due in mid-December.

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Fed target rate probabilities chart. Source: CME Group

So far, consensus is practically unanimous on current levels remaining in place at the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, per data from CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

The Fed will release the minutes of its previous FOMC meeting this week.

“Short week, but still some important events to watch. The Fed meeting minutes will be in the spotlight,” financial commentary resource The Kobeissi Letter wrote in part of its weekly forecast.

Analysis concerned over Bitcoin mining boom

Bitcoin network fundamentals remain at or near all-time highs — and depending on how the near-term BTC price action plays out, they may yet jump higher still this week.

Both hash rate and mining difficulty are in full bull mode, analysis has concluded, having spent most of 2023 in a relentless uptrend with only minor retracements along the way.

However, the optimistic status quo is not without its warning signs.

In his latest Quicktake market update for on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant on Nov. 19, contributor Gigisulivan noted that new hash rate highs have traditionally preceded a BTC price comedown.

“This was no longer the case after 15th of Sept as the dominant BTC Spot ETF rally took over and pushed BTC’s price 30%+ up,” he acknowledged.

Despite this, there is still time for history to repeat itself, with the result potentially constituting a return toward the $30,000 mark.

“Important to note is that we have another new high on hashrate 2 weeks ago, that is sitting still within the usual time-frame and usual pump before dump range,” the update added.

“Most likely pullback target between 30-31.5k.”

As Cointelegraph reported, one theory suggests that miners will be looking to increase BTC stockpiles in advance of the April 2024 halving, when the amount of BTC awarded to them per block is cut by 50%.

Bitcoin’s next automated difficulty readjustment is meanwhile scheduled for Nov. 25, and is currently expected to take difficulty only modestly higher — by around 2%, per data from monitoring resource BTC.com.

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Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.com

Dominance fuels hopes of classic bull market

When it comes to Bitcoin versus altcoins, the classic market cap dominance surge, which characterizes early stages of the crypto bull market remains in play.

Bitcoin currently accounts for around 52.5% of the total crypto market cap — around 2% lower than at the start of the month, but still conspicuously higher than its year-to-date lows of nearer 40%.

“Bitcoin price dominance is finally back, at least for the time being,” research firm Santiment wrote in an update on the status quo late last week.

“Altcoins have been retracing on the tail end of the week after the past month’s blistering hot rally. If the crowd begins to get worried and show FUD, however, we could see some quick price rebounds.”

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Bitcoin crypto market cap dominance 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin traditionally advances prior to major altcoins, with small cap tokens bringing up the rear as excitement over price gains permeates crypto markets.

For Daan Crypto Trades, that sequence of events should ideally continue to play out.

“Best for Bitcoin and the overall market would be if Bitcoin Dominance takes off again while BTC grinds up,” he argued on Nov. 17.

“Not enough liquidity yet to sustain the entire market moving at once. It’s why we see these flushes so often as liquidity is spread too thin. Then when BTC has rallied, capital can flow back into alts to play catch up. The weaker ETH/BTC is the stronger BTC will be most of the time.”

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ETH/BTC 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

ETH/BTC returned to 0.05 BTC at the end of October — its lowest since mid-2022.

Supply dormancy sets new record

When it comes to long-term holder resolve to HODL beyond immediate price action, few charts are arguably as bullish as dormant supply.

Related: Bitcoin nears pre-halving ‘target zone’ toward $50K BTC price

From the perspective of its iteration showing the percentage of mined BTC which has not moved in at least a year, the metric has now hit all-time highs.

Over 70% of the supply has ignored any gains seen since the 2022 bear market bottom, and remains in the same wallet.

“Bitcoin has gained +139% over the past year and 70% of all BTC in circulation hasn’t been sold / transferred,” Caleb Franzen, senior analyst at Cubic Analytics, responded.

“Now that’s conviction.”

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BTC supply dormant for 1 year or more chart. Source: William Clemente/X

Franzen referenced data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode uploaded to X by William Clemente, co-founder of crypto research firm Reflexivity.

As Cointelegraph reported, the area immediately below $40,000 could well represent a key profit-taking watershed for those Bitcoin investors who purchased BTC during the 2021 run to current all-time highs.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.