(Bloomberg) — Bitcoin snapped a 12-day slide, bouncing along with the rest of the cryptocurrency market after a record-breaking string of declines. Analysts cautioned the respite may be brief.
Most Read from Bloomberg
Putin Gets Unexpected Pushback From Ally Over War in Ukraine
Bitcoin, Ether Bounce Off Lows After Record-Breaking Rout
Putin May Win in Ukraine, But the Real War Is Just Starting
US Rejects China’s Claims Over Taiwan Strait as Concerns Grow
Sergey Brin Seeks Divorce, Joining Gates and Bezos in Split
The world’s largest cryptocurrency climbed as much as 12% early Sunday, recouping much of its losses from a steep drop Saturday that sent the token to as low as $17,599. Bitcoin came tantalizingly close to retaking $20,000 at several points during the day, only to retreat, and stood at $19,450 as of 12:30 p.m. in New York. Ether, which touched as low as $881 in the selloff, climbed 17% to $1,060, while alternative coins from Avalanche to Solana also enjoyed gains. Even with Sunday’s rally, Bitcoin is down almost 40% this month and more than 70% from its all-time high reached in November.
“For those who like to buy low and sell high, I think most can agree that it’s the former now,” said Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics.
The crypto market is known for its wild swings — particularly on weekends, when moves can be magnified — and the whipsaw of the past two days provided the latest example. Still, the overall tone remains negative, with monetary tightening providing macro headwinds and crises within crypto raising concerns about widening distress.
Trading has been heavier than normal this weekend, with Bitcoin volume approaching $40 billion in the 24 hours through midday Sunday New York time, according to CoinGecko. Last Saturday and Sunday, volumes stood at $25.6 billion and $22.5 billion, respectively.
Read more: Crypto Market Starting to See Even Old-Timers ‘Panic Selling’
Bitcoin’s leg down on Saturday pushed the coin below $19,511, the high it hit during its last bull cycle in 2017, which it reached at the end of that year. Throughout its roughly 12-year trading history, Bitcoin has never dropped below previous cycle peaks. The token also broke through a technical support level of $18,300, said Katie Stockton managing partner and founder of Fairlead Strategies. Consecutive weekly losses below that level would increase the risk of falling toward the next support of $13,900, she added.
As for trading now, Stockton said a short-term, “counter-trend” technical signal “provides some hope that a rebound will unfold in the near term.” She cautioned against buying the dip, though, as “momentum is strongly negative.” Other voices on Crypto Twitter cited $20,000 as a key pivot point that could provide support if it is retaken and held in the next few days; otherwise, it could be a market ceiling of sorts.
The $20,000 level is “significant” as it represents the 2017 high and “since then has acted as both support and resistance on multiple occasions,” Quantum Economics’ Greenspan said. “If we can get and hold above that level it will be quite bullish.”
A toxic mix of bad news cycles and higher interest rates has hurt crypto in recent days, resulting in a record stretch of losses for Bitcoin in the 12 days ended Saturday. The Federal Reserve raised its main interest rate on June 15 by three-quarters of a percentage point — the biggest increase since 1994 — and central bankers signaled they will keep hiking aggressively this year in the fight to tame inflation. Adding to the mood, crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital suffered large losses and said it was considering asset sales or a bailout, while another lender, Babel Finance, followed in Celsius’s footsteps on Friday.
The risk-off sentiment can be seen from the redemption pressure in Tether, with the widely used stablecoin’s circulation dropping by more than $15 billion since the May collapse of the Terra ecosystem, the first big crisis to hit the market this year, according to pricing data from CoinGecko. Some $4.4 billion of those redemptions came in the last seven days.
The crypto market as a whole is now a fraction of the size it reached in late 2021, when Bitcoin traded near $69,000 and traders poured cash into speculative investments of all stripes. The total market cap of cryptocurrencies was around $900 billion on Sunday down from $3 trillion in November, CoinGecko data shows.
(Updates prices, adds commentary about $20,000 level.)
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
Ethereum Mining Is Going Away, and Miners Are Not Happy
Sheryl Sandberg’s Wedding Expenses Are the Least of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Problems
Hell Is a Cruise Ship at the Beginning of the Pandemic
The Last Bear Market Was Short-Lived. This One Feels Different
Adults Who Love Toys? The Toy Industry Loves Them, Too
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.