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How Will Traders Handle Volatility Ahead of Bitcoin Halving? Analysts Are Split

2024-04-19 03:01:02

The notorious volatility of Bitcoin’s price is ramping up approaching the eve of the next Bitcoin halving, making it increasingly difficult to predict where things will land after the event. That doesn’t stop anyone from trying.

Expert predictions of post-halving BTC price movements differ depending on the lens used to examine the market. On-chain analysts, for example, are directionally bullish, while technical analysts are much more cautious.

“It’s hard to tell, but certainly the sell pressure from traders has been diminishing as they have basically taken all profit,” Julio Moreno, Head of Research at CryptoQuant, told Decrypt.

According to the firm’s metrics, the “short-term holder realized price” has returned to near equivalency with the asset’s market price. That means that short-term traders, in aggregate, are no longer sitting on large profits that would incentivize them to sell immediately.

Unrealized profits across the network were fairly large until Bitcoin’s pullback this month, CryptoQuant said, fueled by slowdowns in Bitcoin ETF inflows alongside escalating conflicts in the Middle East that impacted all risk-on markets.

Though Crypto Twitter may have been spooked by the pullback, analytics firm IntoTheBlock says it was “business as usual” for Bitcoin, again citing investor profitability.

“At the time of the highs, over 97% of holders were in profit for an extended period,” said marketing director Vincent Maliepaard. “This rarely occurs and is never sustainable.”

Comparatively speaking, the size of the pullback wasn’t even that large, he added, only falling 10% to 20% from its highs. Before the 2017 cycle top, Bitcoin experienced multiple drawdowns exceeding 30% from its highs.

Meanwhile, momentum metrics tracked by Glassnode continue to trend higher across all-time frames—a sign that bull market momentum is still largely underway based on changes to the average active investor’s cost basis, the firm said.

“A cooldown is underway on the faster 30-day indicator, which is what we want to see for a proper reset,” Glassnode’s lead analyst James Check wrote on Wednesday.

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On the other hand, analysts for banking giants JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have both warned that Bitcoin’s price could suffer in the aftermath of the halving.

“We see a downside for the Bitcoin price post-halving for several reasons,” wrote JPMorgan analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou in a Wednesday report.

The bank believes the halving has already been priced in by the market, for one, estimating that the asset’s volatility-adjusted price relative to gold should be closer to $45,000. The crypto market has also experienced a lack of venture funding, it noted, and Bitcoin futures open interest remains elevated.

In a report last week, Goldman Sachs acknowledged that Bitcoin’s price usually surges to new highs after the halving, but that the timing of the surge differs between different cycles. The halving itself, it claimed, could also be a sell-the-news event.

“Caution should be taken against extrapolating the past cycles and the impact of halving, given the respective prevailing macro conditions,” the bank’s analysts said.