- Bitcoin is set to end April with around 26 percent gains. The growth marks the third straight monthly increase and the first three-month winning streak since the final quarter of 2017.
- A falling channel breakout seen on the monthly chart confirms a long-term bullish reversal. A similar breakout seen in October 2015 had paved way for a record rally to $20,000.
- Bitcoin may post stellar gains in May if the 30-day MA, currently at $5,142, reverses the recent pullback. In that case, prices could rise to $6,000.
- A close below the 30-day MA at $5,142 would validate the bearish indicator divergence and allow a deeper drop toward the 50-day MA, currently at $4,675.
Bitcoin (BTC) is on track to confirm a long-term bullish reversal with a first three-month winning streak for over a year.
The crypto market leader is currently trading at $5,166, representing a 26.58 percent gain on the monthly opening price of $4,081, having gained 9.8 and 8.16 percent in February and March, respectively, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).
That is the first three-month run of gains since the last quarter of 2017. Back then, the cryptocurrency appreciated by 48, 54 and 39 percent in October, November and December, respectively.
- Bitcoin's previous three-month bullish wave ended with prices topping out at a lifetime high of around $20,000 in December 2017. The cryptocurrency entered a bear market in the first quarter of 2018 to hit lows near $3,100 in December 2018.
- The cryptocurrency ended the record six-month losing streak with a 9.8 percent rise this February, having scored gains in just three months during 2018.
- The 26.58 percent monthly gain seen at press time is the biggest since April 2018 when prices rallied 33 percent.
April gains would have been in excess of 35 percent had the cryptocurrency managed to hold on to five-month highs above $5,600 hit on April 23.
Nevertheless, BTC has achieved a feat last seen at the height of the bull market in the final months of 2017 and has extended its three-year April winning run.
More importantly, with the solid double-digit monthly gain, the cryptocurrency has violated a long-term bearish channel, confirming a bull breakout. A similar pattern seen in October 2015 paved way for a 2.5-year long bull market.
As seen above (left), BTC topped out at the then-record high of $1,163 in November 2013 and fell into a bear market in February 2014, (prices via Bitstamp).
In the following months, the cryptocurrency established a falling channel – bearish lower highs and lower lows – which was breached to the higher side in October 2015. That bullish breakout was followed by a rally to $20,000 by December 2017.
The probability of BTC posting a strong follow-through over the coming months is high, as the cryptocurrency is set to undergo a mining reward halving in May 2020. The process, aimed at curbing inflation by reducing the reward for mining on bitcoin's blockchain by half, is repeated every four years and tends to put a strong bid under prices.
Notably, bitcoin's previous bull market ended with a bearish channel breakout almost a year ahead of the reward halving in July 2016.
Looking forward, with the monthly chart flashing a historically bullish price pattern, BTC looks likely to register gains in a seasonally mixed month of May.
- Bitcoin has registered gains in May in five out of the last 8 years.
- The positive takeaway is that the losses in May have mostly been significantly less than the gains.
The odds of BTC posting gains in May, however, would fall sharply if the price finds acceptance below the crucial 30-day MA, currently at $5,142.
On the daily chart, BTC is currently hovering around the 30-day MA, which reversed pullbacks in March and has served as a base throughout the rally from lows near $3,300 seen in February. As a result, a strong bounce from that average could invite buying pressure, leading to a rally to $6,000.
A deeper drop to the 50-day MA at $4,675 could be seen if prices find acceptance below the 30-day MA, validating the short-term bearish case put forward by the bearish divergence of the 14-day relative strength index.
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.
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