Bitcoin is taking a hit today, touching 3.5 week lows at the time of writing.
Notably, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is down 40 percent from its all-time high of $20,000 set just a month ago.
The losses in bitcoin are largely in line with those seen across the cryptocurrency space. As of writing, Ripple (XRP), stellar lumens (STR) and cardano (ADA) are down at least 25 percent on the day each. Ethereum's ether (ETH) token has shed 18 percent in value in the last 24 hours.
So what's troubling the cryptocurrency markets?
Firstly, comments on social media indicate there is unease in the investor community over talk of a cryptocurrency trading ban in South Korea and further possible crackdowns on trading and mining in China.
And secondly, BTC futures contracts are trading at a discount to bitcoin's global average calculated by CoinMarketCap. The January expiry futures contract on the CBOE is trading at $11,510 and CME's is changing hands at $11,530. Meanwhile, BTC spot is trading at $11,816. The discount (futures price lower than spot price) indicates that the market participants are bearish on the underlying asset (BTC).
The technical chart analysis indicates scope for a drop to below $10,000 levels if the bulls can't muster a response today.
The above chart (prices as per Coinbase) shows:
- The rising trendline (blue line) has been breached.
- A downside break of the triangle pattern, indicating the sell-off from the record high of $19,891.99 (Dec. 17 high) has resumed.
- The relative strength index (RSI) has turned bearish (below 50.00), indicating scope for further losses.
- The 50-day moving average (MA) has shed bullish bias (flattened).
- The 5-day and 10-day MAs carry a strong bearish bias (downward sloping).
- BTC looks set to close (as per UTC) below $13,000 and extend its decline to $8,350 (support of rising trendline).
- A minor recovery cannot be ruled out if bitcoin defends $11,004 (61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the rally from the November low to the December high) over the next few hours.
- Significant gains above $14,000 (daily highs) look unlikely, courtesy of the downward sloping 10-day and 5-day MAs.
Down button image via Shutterstock