The path forward for bitcoin prices isn't clear, market analysts say.
While some described the market to CoinDesk as bearish overall, other observers offered a more optimistic stance about the prospects for future price developments. Their input comes as bitcoin prices have largely traded rangebound in the last few days, fluctuating between $1,010 and $1,060, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).
While bitcoin prices reached an all-time high of more than $1,300 earlier this month in the lead up to the US Securities and Exchange Commission ruling on the bitcoin ETF proposed by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss twins, they have fallen since. Interestingly enough, bitcoin prices were little changed when the SEC shot down a bitcoin ETF proposed by SolidX.
"The market has seen a switch in sentiment from hope of ETF approval to the ugliness of internal fighting," said Charles Hayter, founder and CEO of CryptoCompare.
Some analysts pointed to this ongoing dilemma when providing their overall bearish views of the market. One lingering concern is that a fork could drive down prices sharply, prompting some to hedge their bets ahead of any possible disruption.
According to Jacob Eliosoff, a cryptocurrency fund manager, the situation is becoming a key driver of that bearishness.
He told CoinDesk:
Not all agreed with this assessment, however. OTC trader Harry Yeh struck a more practical outlook, arguing that bitcoin's upside has been limited as a result.
"We see this as being priced in now and don't foresee major prices moves past $1,200 in the near term," he said.
Tim Enneking, chairman of Crypto Asset Management, offered similar sentiment, telling CoinDesk that "hard fork concerns are capping upward movement". However, he also emphasized that "solid BTC fundamentals, interest and growth potential" were creating a floor for prices.
While Enneking offered a moderate assessment of the situation, a handful of analysts insisted that bitcoin's long-term trend was bullish. Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of leveraged bitcoin trading platform BitMEX, stated that the digital currency's recent pullbacks in price represent a "healthy correction".
"The additional uncertainty surrounding the potential hard fork also acts as a price dampener," he added.
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