Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent price rally from $16,500 to $25,000 can be attributed to a short squeeze in the futures market and recent macroeconomic improvements. However, while prices increased, data suggests that many interested buyers (including whales) were left on the sidelines.
The recent rally to $25,000 shared many similarities with the 2019 bear market rally, which saw a 330% surge in Bitcoin’s price to highs around $14,000 from the November 2019 low at $3,250. Recently, the BTC/USD pair rose 60% from its November 2022 low.
On-chain and market indicators relative to the 2019 rally are sending mixed signals on whether or not Bitcoin’s rally will continue. Nevertheless, there are strong reasons to believe that the market has reached a crucial turning point where it can either turn into a full-fledged bull market or slump back into a long-term bear trend.
Let’s look at the top five indicators to understand the current price dynamic relative to the 2019 bull run.
Bitcoin tackles historical trading levels
Bitcoin’s price surpassed the 200-day moving average (MA) at $19,600, which could encourage paper traders looking to open a long position. Historically, this metric has acted as a bull-bear pivot line, with breakouts above it being bullish and vice versa.
BTC/USD usually retests the 200-day MA on a breakout, which raises the possibility of a correction toward $19,500. However, this was not the case in 2019, when the price continued rising without a pullback to the 200-day MA.
BTC/USD daily price chart with 200-day MA metric. Source: TradingView
At the same time, traders are likely paying attention to the 200-period weekly moving average at $25,100. Bitcoin price had never dropped below the 200-weekly MA until November 2022 and reclaiming this level could encourage technical buyers to join the bandwagon.
However, until a breakout happens, traders might continue to stay on the sidelines. The funding rates for perpetual swap contracts are currently neutral, suggesting that traders are waiting for confirmation.
Crypto Twitter trader, Immortal, found the market is only at the “halfway point” considering the duration of the current rally compared to the one in 2019. The 2019 rally lasted 193 days from bottom to top, while only 92 days have passed since the bottom on Nov. 9, 2023.
Comparing the time from the bottom to local top in 2019 and 2023. Source: Twitter
Immortal goes on to say that if the 2019 timeline fractal holds true in 2023, BTC/USD could surge as high as $46,000 by March.
A stablecoin supply ratio oscillator is close to the 2019 top
Bitcoin’s stablecoin supply ratio (SSR) oscillator gauges the market’s buying power. The indicator measures the ratio between Bitcoin’s market capitalization and stablecoin supply. Low readings on the SSR oscillator indicate higher purchasing power of stablecoins. Conversely, a spike in the metric indicates overbought conditions.
Bitcoin’s price surge in February 2023 saw the SSR oscillator spike toward levels not seen since 2019 and 2021. The indicator suggests that the positive trend might end soon. There is a slight chance of one last push higher toward the $30,000 psychological level.
However, the data could be taken with a grain of salt because of the regulatory crackdown on the BUSD stablecoin, which caused a significant decline in its supply. It might have skewed the SSR oscillator to show overbought conditions.
Bitcoin’s stablecoin supply ratio (SSR) oscillator. Source: glassnode
One of the biggest concerns of the current surge is the absence of whale buying. Contrary to 2019, when the number and holdings of BTC addresses with more than 1,000 BTC increased as the price surged from the bottom and the whales have sold in the present rally. The divergence between the number of whales and the price raises concerns about sustainability of the positive trend.
Number of BTC addresses with balance more than or equal to 1,000. Source: glassnode
Data highlights a crucial bull-bear pivotal point
Investors add to their winning positions on pullbacks in an uptrend and this is indicated when the Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) indicator stays above one. The opposite happens in a downtrend where bears dominate the market by selling into rallies. A crossover of the metric above 1 is a potential trend reversal signal.
Glassnode’s 7-day moving average of the adjusted SOPR indicator shows that the bear trend has likely reversed. The indicator turned bullish when BTC broke out above $20,800 in January 2023. The metric retested the pivotal support level with Bitcoin’s price at $21,800, making it a crucial support level for a sustained uptrend.
7-day MA of Bitcoin’s adjusted SOPR indicator. Source: glassnode
Similarly, the price has moved above the average buying levels of both short and long-term holders, which is another signal of a potential trend reversal. This could be a sign that the market has reached a crucial turning point as the on-chain oscillators return to equilibrium.
The metrics also hint that a potential bull trend appears likely while the price holds above support at $21,800, $20,800 and $19,600.
A weekly close above $25,100 could encourage derivatives and technical traders to buy into the current rally, but there are some warning signs that the market might be reaching overheated conditions and a quick correction toward lower support levels cannot be ruled out.
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