(Bloomberg) — Bitcoin’s stealth rally over the past two weeks has brought it close to a key level that analysts at Miller Tabak + Co. say it must break above to continue its upward path.
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Having gained roughly 15% since March 11, the largest cryptocurrency by market value is close to reaching $45,000. If Bitcoin “can break above that level next week in any meaningful way, it should gain a lot of upside momentum,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co.
Maley’s watching a so-called “ascending triangle” pattern and says he’d like to see the breach above $45,000 happen during the week because weekend trading can be thin.
The cryptocurrency rose as much as 1% on Sunday to $45,018, reaching the upper end of what has been a narrow $35,000-to-$45,000 range since early this year.
The coin has been stuck in that tight path as the Federal Reserve and other central banks remove some of the stimulus measures they put in place in response to the pandemic downturn. That means there’s less cash to go toward riskier assets, including crypto. In addition, digital currencies came under scrutiny with speculation swirling that they could be used to skirt Russian sanctions, though many analysts rebuff that claim.
Still, Bitcoin rallied this month alongside broader increases in U.S. stocks. The coin is up nearly 8% since the end of February, and the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index has added a similar amount in that span.
“As we test the top of the 2022 trading range for the fifth time, this is another one of these Bitcoin moments when the narrative could swiftly change and investors pile in, propelling the Bitcoin price higher,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner at Nexo. “It might just be time to awaken from the Bitcoin-sideways slumber that’s been 2022,” he said, adding that he’s projecting the coin could hit $100,000 by the end of June.
Though cryptoassets under management grew in March, aggregate trading volumes fell 30% to $259 million, the fifth consecutive month that they failed to break this downward trend, according to a report from CryptoCompare.
Bitcoin is also well above its 50-day moving average, which currently sits around $41,085. That puts it around the 80th to 90th percentile and in the “overbought” range, according to Bespoke Investment Group. But, though that signals potential for a downturn in price for many assets, with Bitcoin it’s historically been the opposite, the firm said.
“When it has been similarly overbought in its past (over the last five years), it has averaged significant gains going out one to 12 months,” according to the Bespoke report.
When Bitcoin has been in the ninth decile of its spread versus its 50-day average, it’s historically risen 16% in the next month, is up 100% six months later, and has gained 274% after a year, according to data compiled by Bespoke.
“This isn’t normally what you see for the typical stock or ETF, but because Bitcoin has mostly traded higher over the years and really has a lot of momentum trading behind it, overbought levels have yet to become a headwind for this particular space,” Bespoke wrote.
David Duong, head of institutional research at Coinbase Global Inc., points out that over the past eight weeks, cryptos have seen shallower drawdowns than U.S. stocks have. Equities, for instance, saw a two-standard-deviation drop on three different occasions over the last several weeks, while Bitcoin notched a one-standard-deviation decline.
“This decoupling is important in our view, because it suggests that crypto returns can exhibit less relative volatility compared to other risk assets amid some of the most challenging market conditions we have faced in recent history,” Duong wrote in a note. “This could potentially support an argument for greater (relative) crypto stability in the short term.”
(Updates with Trenchev comments.)
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