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

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.

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Bitcoin's recovery from bear cycle bottom in 2022 vs recovery from the 2018 bottom (K33 Research)

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

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