Keep an Eye on the Horizon: Bitcoin (BTC) Will Likely Trade Sideways into 2019

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As 2018 comes to a close, analysts and optimists from Hong Kong to California have been predicting an impending crypto market bull run that will see Bitcoin rally to anywhere between $20,000 to $300,000 by year-end. For the most part, though, their reasoning behind such a bull run is a bit thin.

The main evidence on which most predictions are relying on is the fact that for the majority of the past ten years, Bitcoin has always enjoyed a bull run towards year end, except in 2014. Eight out of nine successful December bull runs might sound like good odds, until you notice that the current market identically resembles that which followed the early 2014 correction that continued into late 2015.

Another commonly touted reasoning we’ve all heard over the past few weeks is ‘low volatility‘ – a sign in financial markets that is usually associated with a ‘calm before the storm’ mentality. However, Bitcoin’s current descending triangle pattern could just as likely break out on the downside rather than the upside, especially considering the number of fake breakouts the market has experienced over the past few months.

Changing Perceptions

BitMEX crypto exchange CEO Arthur Hayes, who is usually very optimistic about Bitcoin, has recently admitted his true feelings regarding the assets immediate future. Despite earlier predictions this year of $50,000 levels by 2019, he now believes Bitcoin could continue trading sideways for another 12 to 18 months.

‘2014 to 2015 was sort of the nuclear bear market. Price crashed, volume crashed — very, very difficult to make money,’ he said.

Not all analysts see the low volatility and stable price as a negative though, with Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee recently quoted as saying he is ‘pleasantly surprised’ with the current non-volatile market. He noted its small market size in comparison to the $90 trillion of global assets as reasoning for his surprise, as small markets usually experience higher volatility.

“Bitcoin seems to have found its floor at $6,000,” he continued, which happens to be the break-even cost of mining Bitcoin, a value it will need to maintain for mining to continue to be viable.

In a largely unpredictable market like that of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin could certainly break out at any time, but it seems the general sentiment is now trending more towards long-term sideways movement. Mitigating factors still need to be considered, such as that of the upcoming launch of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Bakkt platform and Fidelity’s digital asset branch. However, with interest in a Bitcoin ETF seemingly weakening, it’s possible even such events may have less effect than expected on Bitcoins price.

Although currently trading slightly lower at around $6,300, Bitcoin has been maintaining an average price of around $6,400 for almost two months now. Without fresh volume to push a significant breakout above $6,800, it’s quite possible it will continue in this range through Christmas and New Years.

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