Bitcoin (BTC) starts a new week above $30,000 but heading nowhere as the multi-month trading range refuses to shift.
BTC price action is giving traders little more than a frustrating sense of deja vu — and they are now wondering what it could take to change the trend.
It may in fact be more accurate to say that on low timeframes, a trend is exactly what Bitcoin lacks. The largest cryptocurrency has spent weeks bounding between upside and downside liquidity pockets without deciding whether bulls or bears will ultimately win.
This struggle continues to play out with predictable regularity, and nothing — not macroeconomic data prints, institutional involvement or else — has been able to switch things up.
With that in mind, it may not be all that problematic that the coming week offers little in terms of data-driven risk asset catalysts from the United States or Federal Reserve.
Within Bitcoin, on-chain data is pointing to a reaccumulation phase among the investor base, possibly reflective of a “calm before the storm” mentality prior to a more significant market move.
Crypto market sentiment is “neutral,” according to the Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which is now nonetheless at its lowest point for July so far.
Cointelegraph takes a look at these factors and more to determine potential BTC price triggers for the coming days.
Bitcoin weekly close keeps volatility away
While normally a time of erratic short-term price moves, the close saw little disruption, with even $30,000 support remaining unchallenged.
BTC/USD thus continues within a narrow “mini range” in place since last week, when a fakeout to upside liquidity resulted in new yearly highs followed by a dramatic comedown.
“I think everyone can see this range with their eyes closed at this point,” popular trader Daan Crypto Trades summarized.
“For me it’s pretty easy. Bulls have to retake $30.5K for me to consider closing the inefficiency from the dump. Until then, my base case is for price to seek the liquidity at $29.5K.”
Others have similarly come round to the idea that new local lows may come next for Bitcoin, given bulls’ inability to break the range for an extended period.
For fellow trader Credible Crypto, a return to $27,400 — an area not seen in almost a month — is not off the table.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 6 month inversion FVG EQ.
— Crypto Chase (@Crypto_Chase) July 17, 2023
Trader Crypto Tony offered a potential downside target area around $28,300, adding that this “remains his bias.”
This remains my main bias this week unless the bulls can reverse this quickly. The downside escalates once we lose support at $29,800
Do not rush into a position and remain patient pic.twitter.com/gRk9MQlkdI
— Crypto Tony (@CryptoTony__) July 17, 2023
In terms of strength at local price points, trader Jelle noted an ongoing battle on Bitcoin’s relative strength index (RSI), which recently printed a bearish divergence with price trajectory.
“Bitcoin tried to take out the bearish divergence last week but got smacked down quickly,” he commented as part of his latest analysis.
“Both bulls and bears defend their ground fiercely. More ping pong, until breakout.”
Earnings season leads U.S. data releases
Those hoping for a macro-inspired risk asset shake-up may be left disappointed this week, with a lack of significant data due from the U.S.
The highlight comes in the form of tech firm earnings and jobless claims on July 20, but with a Fed decision on interest rate hikes still around two weeks away, volatility remains on the horizon.
“Earnings season is now in full swing and the July Fed meeting is in focus. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks,” financial commentary resource, The Kobeissi Letter, wrote in part of recent social media analysis.
Key Events This Week:
1. Retail Sales data – Tuesday
2. Building Permit data – Wednesday
3. Existing Home Sales data – Thursday
4. Jobless Claims data – Thursday
6. ~10% of S&P 500 reports earnings
We’re 10 days out from the Fed meeting.
— The Kobeissi Letter (@KobeissiLetter) July 16, 2023
According to current estimates from CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, markets remain convinced that the Fed will resume rate hikes regardless of already positive data prints showing inflation retreating faster than expected.
As of July 17, the odds of a 0.25% hike stand at a practically unanimous 96.1%.
An index to watch, meanwhile, is the U.S. dollar index (DXY), currently attempting to reclaim the 100 mark after dropping below it for the first time in more than a year.
As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin previously exhibited strong inverse correlation with DXY, although this has waned considerably in 2023.
Whales return to the game
Turning to on-chain data, a reawakening of Bitcoin whales is getting on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant excited.
As noted by contributing analyst SignalQuant, unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) reflecting large tranches of coins are increasing this year — in classic bull market style.
SignalQuant referenced the UTXO Value Bands metric, which shows whales gradually coming back to life in 2023 after a rapid retreat in the latter half of last year.
“From that view, as ‘the whale group’ increased with its price back in 2019, they are slowly increasing with its price in 2023 too,” he wrote in one of CryptoQuant’s Quicktake blog posts on July 16.
“If their indicators gradually increase, then we can be more confident that 1)its price at the end of 2022 is a long-term bottom, and 2) that its price will continue to rise.”
Previously, Cointelegraph reported on whale numbers rebounding, along with other larger investor cohort exposure, at current prices.
Supply dynamics repeat early bull market signals
It is not just whale behavior on the radar of analysts at present when it comes to hidden bullish BTC price signals.
The latest on-chain data shows that in fact, more of the BTC supply moved near $30,000 than at any other price point, reflecting a critical point of interest throughout the investor base.
In total, the zone around $30,200 has seen a total of 3.8% of the total supply move, according to on-chain analytics platform Look Into Bitcoin.
At the same time, older, long-dormant supply is coming back to life. This, Look Into Bitcoin creator Philip Swift argued last week, has been characteristic of the early innings of every Bitcoin bull market to date.
“Increased onchain spending volume showing where we are in the cycle right now. History doesn’t repeat but it often rhymes,” he commented.
“Greed” fades from crypto markets
Few things show the fickle nature of the average crypto investor than classic sentiment yardstick, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index.
While slightly lagging, Fear & Greed captures the rapidly-changing mood among market participants across even established trading ranges.
This is the case around the crucial $30,000 boundary, with sentiment improving markedly above and deteriorating below.
Currently, the Index is in “neutral” territory, but now at its lowest for July so far at 54/100.
Extremes in either fear or greed tend to act as advance warning of market rebounds or retracements, respectively.
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.