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Markets Report: Bitcoin retests $19,500 amid excitement over ‘liquidity crisis’

With $20,000 still out of reach, BTC/USD focuses on reclaiming $19,500 as traders recover from unprecedented volatility

Bitcoin showed fresh signs of retaking all-time highs on Dec. 3 as price ranging once again took aim at $19,500.

Data from price trackers including CoinMarketCap and TradingView followed BTC/USD as the pair sought to establish $19,000 support in daily trading. 

BTC price “relatively stable”

On Thursday, Bitcoin continued its consolidation below all-time highs seen earlier in the week, this in turn following on from wild volatility which characterized Monday and Tuesday. 

That consolidation first focused on $19,000, with a shift in emphasis slowly taking the market higher. 

At press time, highs of $19,450 characterized the daily chart, with clear resistance visible at levels around $19,500 and up.

Another day of consolidation for Bitcoin. Source: TradingView

“#Bitcoin relatively stable and altcoins can have some momentum. That’s nice,” trader Michaël van de Poppe summarized to Twitter followers. 

The key phrase of “relative” underscores the unpredictability of Bitcoin as it attempts to crush definitive resistance which lies at $20,000. Analysis of exchanges shows intense sell pressure remains, with a converse lack of hurdles until $22,000 should BTC/USD gain $20,000 as support. 

In the meantime, trading was all but impossible for speculators, with fellow popular social media trader Nebraskan Gooner pulling a short play at $19,050 just before the market reversed upwards towards the daily high.

“R:R still favors downside. Low volume buyback yesterday and OBV failed to break resistance,” he explained about the impetus behind shorting Bitcoin. “Unless OBV breaks resistance I can’t re-long. Shorted $19,050 with 1% account risk.”

Speculators stay away

As ever, the longer-term prognosis among analysts contrasted with incidental price action. Despite the volatility, exchange funds stayed low, the push to $20,000 resulting in only a minor uptick, implying a lack of desire among holders to speculate or sell. 

“#Bitcoin held at exchanges continuing to fall like never seen before,” Danny Scott, CEO of UK exchange Coin Corner, commented. 

“Long term positions are building, #Bitcoin liquidity crisis incoming.”

As Modern Consensus reported, that “crisis” has long been evident as more large-volume buyers enter the market in the form of corporations buying for retail clients. 

At press time, total exchange holdings were 2.4 million BTC, while in March—on the day that Bitcoin shed almost 60% of its value—the figure stood at yearly highs of 2.96 million.

Bitcoin exchange holdings remain low. Source: CryptoQuant

Complementing investor resolve, another metric, known as hash ribbons, delivered a firm signal to accumulate at current prices for the first time since July. Formed when Bitcoin’s 30-day average hash rate crosses the 60-day average, the buy points predicted every price surge in 2020, including that which saw BTC/USD hit $12,500 in August. 

30-day average hash rate has been trending up almost consistently since the middle of November, indicating strength among miners has not been damaged by price swings. At press time, it stood at just under 130 exahashes per second (EH/s), just 10 EH/s off all-time highs.

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Anthony Bevan is a journalist focusing on disruptive finance and cryptocurrency, along with the changing face of the market as Bitcoin gains mainstream adoption. Journalists covering cryptocurrency for Modern Consensus May hold positions in some of the currencies they write about.