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Strong Bitcoin Volumes Bode Well for Price Breakout

Bitcoin's current period of price consolidation may end with a bull breakout, price-volume analysis indicates.

Mar 15, 2019
CoinDesk Insights

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  • Bitcoin’s daily trading volume remains elevated at highs above $10 billion, going against the technical theory that investor interest tends to drop during periods of consolidation. Therefore, the ongoing sideways trading near $3,900 may end with a bull breakout toward the recent high of $4,207.
  • Trading volumes have been strong since the corrective rally kicked off in early February, so a range breakdown looks unlikely.
  • Prices could first see a drop below $3,865 (March 12 low) due to the extended consolidation. That said, the short-term outlook would turn bearish only if the higher low of $3,743 created on March 3 is breached

Bitcoin's current period of price consolidation may end with a bull breakout, price-volume analysis indicates.

While the cryptomarket leader is lacking a clear directional bias for the tenth straight day, 24-hour trading volume remains elevated near the 10-month high of $10.75 billion seen on Feb. 24, contradicting the popular theory that investor interest drops in a rangebound market.

As a result, the pullback from recent highs near $4,200 appears likely to be nothing more than a bull breather and BTC could soon draw bids.

Validating that argument is the fact that the recovery rally from the lows near $3,400 seen on Feb. 8 was backed by high volumes. Daily trading levels jumped above their 50-day moving average 35 days ago and have remained above the key metric ever since – a feat last observed during the height of the bull market in the third quarter of 2017, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Hence, the probability of BTC ending the ongoing consolidation with a strong move to the downside is quite low.

As of writing, BTC is trading at $3,930, representing a 0.5 percent gain on a 24-hour basis, according to CoinMarketCap. Twenty-four-hour trading volume is seen at $10.62 billion, while the 50-day moving average of daily trading volume is seen at $7.615 billion.

Daily chart

As seen above, BTC jumped 7.5 percent on Feb. 8 (arrow), invalidating the immediate bearish setup. The strong move was backed by a hike in trading volumes above their 50-day MA. Since then, volume bars have consistently printed above the key average, validating the corrective rally from $3,400.

The setup looks even more bullish if we take into account the higher lows and higher highs on volume chart. Recent price pullbacks were accompanied by a drop in volumes (lack of bear support), explaining the weak follow-through to the rising channel breakdown witnessed on Feb. 24.

The failed breakdown coupled with elevated volumes amid price consolidation indicates scope for a re-test of $4,208 (Feb. 24 high).

That said, the long period of consolidation could test the bulls’ resolve, and a brief drop below the immediate support of $3,865 (March 12 low) could be seen before a continuation of the rally.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

 via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View

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The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, 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.

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