Bitcoin’s (BTC) seven-day performance is running cooler than usual following a previously reliable moving average crossover.
The cryptocurrency has been trading in a narrow range since June, and finding signs of significant movement – up or down – has been challenging. A recently occurring moving average crossover is worth monitoring, however.
On Oct. 28, BTC’s 10-period moving average crossed above its 50-period moving average. BTC’s price dating back to Jan. 1, 2015 shows this trend occurring 27 times over 2,862 trading days.
Following each occurrence, BTC’s price increased by 3% on average for every seven days. BTC prices were about 10% higher on average for 30-day periods following the same signal.
A comparison to all trading data over that period suggests that investors who have gone long BTC following that signal have slightly outperformed a buy-and-hold strategy.
Whether this holds true for the most recent crossover is uncertain. Friday's prices would need to breach $21,216 to maintain the prior seven-day average. To align with past 30-day performance, prices would need to approach $22,615 by Nov. 28.
The 10/50 moving average crossover has performed in line with the famed golden cross, though there have been far fewer opportunities to do so.
A golden cross occurs when the 50-day moving average for an asset crosses above its 200-day moving average and often indicates a bullish trend in asset prices.
The rationale behind examining a cross of the 10- and 50-day moving averages is simply to identify if a more commonly occurring signal is available.
The graph below shows that the golden cross has occurred just six times since 2015, with average seven- and 30-day gains averaging 4.3% and 9.5%, respectively.
Bitcoin’s declining volatility over the last 12 months is likely working against the signal, however. BTC’s "average true range" is 41% lower than the next most recent crossover, and over 70% lower than when the signal occurred in March and in October 2021.
According to Kraken Intelligence’s latest Monthly Market Recap and Outlook report, BTC’s annualized volatility has reached its lowest level for 2022.
Simply put, while the signal is likely positive, the reduced volatility has halted price movement.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.