- Bitcoin’s drop from a record high of $20,000 clocked in December 2017 has ended up creating a falling channel similar to the one created in the 18 months leading up to the long-term bullish reversal seen in October 2015.
- If the same sequence of events unfolds, BTC could see a channel breakout later this year. An early move out of the falling channel cannot be ruled out, but may not yield stronger rally while the crucial 21-week moving average is trending south.
- The short-term bullish view put forward by the long-tailed doji candle created on Feb. 27 would gain credence if prices break above $4,040 in the next 24 hours, validating the bullish outside reversal candle on the three-day chart. That would open the doors to re-test of recent highs near $4,200.
- A repeated failure to break above $4,040 could end up fueling a pullback to immediate support at $3,927 (March 17 low).
Bitcoin’s (BTC) 14-month bear market has ended up creating a similar price pattern to one that paved the way for a bull run in 2015.
The cryptomarket leader is currently trading at $4,030 on Bitstamp, having hit a low of $3,122 in December. Despite the recovery rally, the price is still down 79.85 percent from the record high of $20,000 reached in December 2017.
Throughout the sell-off, the cryptocurrency has charted a series of lower highs and lower lows, known as descending channel in technical parlance.
Bitcoin produced a similar pattern during the previous bear market witnessed in 2014–2015. More importantly, the upside break of that falling channel, confirmed in October 2015, was followed by a two-year bull market.
Therefore, a potential upside break of the latest falling channel could be considered a sign of a long-term bearish-to-bullish trend change.
Weekly line chart
As can be seen above, the price action seen over the last 14 months looks very similar to that seen in 2014 and early 2015.
The previous bear market had stalled with the 14-week relative strength index (RSI) hitting oversold levels below 30 in January 2015.
Similarly, the sell-off from the record high of $20,000 hit in December 2017 also ran out of steam with the RSI falling below 30 in December 2018.
So, if history repeats itself, the cryptocurrency may see a sustained channel breakout later this year.
An early move above the upper edge of the channel, currently at $4,070, could be seen as several indicators are flashing early signs of bullish reversal. Further, BTC is trading just below the breakout price at press time.
Such an early move, however, could be short-lived or may lack a strong follow-through as long as the 21-week moving average (MA) is trending south. As of writing, the MA resistance is seen at $4,073.
Both the higher lows-higher highs pattern and the ascending 5- and 10-day MAs seen on the daily chart indicate the path of least resistance is to the higher side.
As a result, the cryptocurrency may soon validate the bullish outside reversal candle on the three-day chart with a convincing move above $4,040, as discussed yesterday. That would allow a rally to recent highs near $4,200.
The short-term bullish case would weaken if prices drop below $3,927 (Mar. 17 low).
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.