Bitcoin Could Peak at $45K in May, Analyst Says

The cryptocurrency seems to be mirroring its performance in first-half 2019, when it more than tripled in valuation after a yearlong bear market.

AccessTimeIconApr 17, 2023 at 9:16 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 17, 2023 at 5:07 p.m. UTC
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Bitcoin (BTC) is closely following its early 2019 surge, and prices could peak at around $45,000 next month, according to Vetle Lunde, a senior analyst at K33 Research.

The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared 80% this year, beating traditional risky assets, including the tech-heavy Nasdaq index, by a wide margin. The rally comes after a 12-month decline, when prices fell 76% and bottomed out last November.

The drop and subsequent recovery are analogous to the pattern seen in the 2018-19 bear market in terms of length and trajectory, according to Lunde.

"Bottoms in both cycles lasted for approximately 370 days. And the peak-to-trough return after 510 days of both cycles reached 60%," Lunde said in a note sent to clients last week. "In 2018, the bear market rally topped 556 days after the 2017 peak, on June 29, 2019, with a 34% drawdown from the peak.

"While history is far from likely to repeat in a similar fashion if the fractal were to continue – BTC would peak around May 20 at $45,000," Lunde said.

Bitcoin fell 84% in 2018, with prices bottoming near $3,100 in December. The trend changed in the following months, with prices climbing to $3,700 by the start of 2019 and rising as high as $13,800 by the end of June.

Bitcoin's recovery from bear cycle bottom in 2022 vs recovery from the 2018 bottom
Bitcoin's recovery from bear cycle bottom in 2022 vs recovery from the 2018 bottom

Bitcoin's year-to-date rise has been widely referred to as a "hated bullish move" among crypto observers on Twitter, considering several prominent traders were positioned for a continued sell-off in the first quarter.

A "hated" bull market typically begins during peak pessimism. It reaches a fever pitch once investors who reduced risk in anticipation of an extended slide, begin to feel underexposed and join the bullish bandwagon.

"The hated rally of 2019 ended with a significant blow-off top before BTC resumed trading at a 40-60% drawdown from its 2017 ATH," Lunde noted, using the acronym for all-time high. "The early 2023 rally has all the hallmarks of a hated rally."

Bitcoin changed hands at $29,850 at press time, a 1.5% decline in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.


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