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Markets Report: Bitcoin simmers at $19,000 as traders wait for direction cues

Major volatility becomes uneasy consolidation as Bitcoin takes stock just below its historic all-time high

Bitcoin circled $19,000 on Dec. 2 as intense volatility subsided to give way to familiar ranging behavior.

Data from price trackers including CoinMarketCap and TradingView showed BTC/USD struggling to establish definitive support on the day, far below its local highs of $19,900.

An uneasy calm descends at $19,000

As Modern Consensus reported, the start of the week produced wild price swings for Bitcoin, which shed almost $2,000 on Tuesday. Afterwards, a period of consolidation appeared to begin, with the largest cryptocurrency fluctuating in a wide corridor with $19,000 as its focal point over the past 24 hours.

The week has so far underscored the significance of $20,000 resistance, with the market highly susceptible to psychological pressure in the form of heavy selling around that figure.

“Range high rejecting here and that means we’re chopping around until clear direction is given,” trader Michaël van de Poppe summarized to Twitter followers on Wednesday.

Bitcoin is taking stock after unprecedented volatility. Source: TradingView

Which direction that will be remained a tough topic for analysts during trading, but strong support levels had already become evident. For fellow trader Josh Rager, the appeal of $18,000 Bitcoin alone was reason for optimism. 

“How quickly Bitcoin got bought up and recovered on that dip to $18,100 is quite bullish,” he tweeted after Tuesday’s lows of $18,100.

Bitcoin’s weekly gains were still flat at press time, while monthly performance was conversely more than positive at over 40%. Major market cap altcoins broadly beat Bitcoin’s daily performance, the top 10 led by Litecoin’s 6.7% gains.

BlackRock CEO hints at Bitcoin belief

Outside short-term price activity, meanwhile, bullish signs continued to come from big money which had previously dismissed Bitcoin.

Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest money manager BlackRock, this week told Bank of England chairman Mark Carney that Bitcoin had the potential to “evolve.”

“Bitcoin has caught the attention and imagination of many people. Still untested, pretty small market relative to other markets,” he said. 

The advent of digital currency also presented problems for the U.S. dollar he said, comments which chimed with Bitcoiners as the U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) hit its lowest level in two-and-a-half years this week.

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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.