First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Continues in Narrow Trading Range, Ether Pops Back Into the Green

Some price-chart indicators show the potential for a short-term BTC bounce if support holds.

AccessTimeIconJan 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:40 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Market moves: Bitcoin continued to trade in a tight range, while ether turned to green.

Technician’s take: Some price-chart indicators show the potential for a short-term BTC bounce if support holds.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis.


Bitcoin (BTC): $45,856 -1.25%

(ETH): $3,790 +0.70%


S&P 500: 4,793 -0.063%

DJIA: 36,799 +0.59%

Nasdaq: 15,622 -1.33%

Gold: $1,814 +0.60%

Market moves

Bitcoin continued to trade in a narrow range during U.S. trading hours on Tuesday, while ether reversed Monday’s loss, turning to green.

At the time of writing, bitcoin, the oldest cryptocurrency, was trading slightly above $46,000, little changed in the past 24 hours, according to data from TradingView and Coinbase.

Data from blockchain data firm Glassnode shows that with bitcoin’s little movement, short-term holders are bearing most of the pain, which creates increased sell-side pressure.


The realized price, a metric that values each bitcoin at the time when it was last spent on the blockchain, of bitcoin’s short-term holders was trading at roughly $51,400, according to Glassnode, vs. $24,400 and $17,700 for the overall market and long-term holders, respectively.

Bitcoin’s short-term holders “on aggregate [are] underwater on their investment, and are the most likely to create sell-side resistance,” Glassnode wrote in its newsletter on Monday.

Ether, meanwhile, recovered some losses yesterday, moving above $3,800 at the time of writing, according to data from TradingView and Coinbase.

A few other layer 1 tokens also gained on Tuesday: Tokens of smart contract platforms such as Internet Computer, Cosmos and Celo were among some of the biggest winners of the day, based on data from Messari.

The lack of correlation of alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) with bitcoin’s price may also put further pressure on bitcoin’s price, according to an analyst.

“The bull case remains for bitcoin, but it will be a much harder year as many traders will also focus on altcoins,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, the Americas, wrote in his daily market update on Tuesday.

Technician’s take

Bitcoin four-hour price chart shows support and resistance with RSI on bottom (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)
Bitcoin four-hour price chart shows support and resistance with RSI on bottom (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin was declining toward the $44,000-$45,000 support zone at the time of writing and is roughly flat over the past 24 hours. Indicators suggest a possible price bounce, albeit limited toward the $55,000 resistance level.

BTC has been stuck in a monthlong trading range after a near 20% crash in early December discouraged some buyers. Since then, the relative strength index (RSI) signaled a few oversold readings, although price gains have been muted compared with prior signals.

Katie Stockton, managing partner at Fairlead Strategies, a technical research firm, also noticed counter-trend signals which typically precede a price bounce.

A daily price close above $46,334 (at 8 p.m. ET) would confirm a positive signal, which would increase the possibility of a rise toward $55,644, according to Stockton.

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here are the most recent episodes of “First Mover” on CoinDesk TV:

“First Mover” dove into Web 3, what it means to different blockchain leaders, and do their plans include Ethereum? Joining the show to discuss this major theme of 2022 were the Near Foundation’s new CEO, Marieke Flament, and Kavita Gupta, founder of the new Delta Blockchain Fund. Also, Ronnie Moas of Standpoint Research shared his crypto markets analysis.

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Muyao Shen

Muyao was a markets reporter at CoinDesk.

Damanick Dantes

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.