Although most traders are lamenting bitcoin’s 65% correction this year, the decline in prices has been accompanied by an equally large drop in volatility, according to Bill Baruch, President of Blue Line Futures. For long-term investors, this is a very good thing.
Bottoming Process Begins
Bitcoin’s precipitous drop from its December peak has drained the market of exuberance, allowing the bottoming process to finally begin, Baruch told CNBC in an interview on Monday.
Baruch explained that bitcoin’s volatility has declined to the lowest level in over a year, which means the bottoming process has begun. In his view, a price-bottom is not a specific point but a process that could take several weeks or months to materialize.
As Hacked reported last month, bitcoin’s corrections have grown less intense over time. Each decline has exhibited a higher bottom and was caused by lower trading volume, which means that the selloff was concentrated in fewer hands.
The latest correction may have partially deviated from that general trend, but only in terms of price and not volume. Bitcoin prices last week reached their lowest since early February. The observation noted above would have led us to believe that bitcoin’s recent reversal would stop short of the April bottom around $6,500 (based on Barchart data).
Nevertheless, Baruch maintains that the multiple selloffs have “wiped out most, if not all, of the over-enthusiasm” in the market. That same over-enthusiasm produced a general fear of missing out (FOMO) that led to the speculative run-up in prices we saw in December.
Looking long-term, Baruch maintains there is significant upside for the digital currency, singling out $10,000 per coin as the price to watch.
Bitcoin Showcases Greater Stability
Bitcoin has in recent months demonstrated extended periods of muted moves, which is a significant departure from normally trading activity defined by wild price swings. In early May, bitcoin was seen trading in its narrowest band in about six months. For about a week, BTC/USD hovered within a $500 range, showcasing a rare feat of stability for the largest cryptocurrency by market cap. At the time, bitcoin was trading between $8,600 and $9,200.
The cryptocurrency has declined sharply since, reflecting a broad market reversal that virtually wiped out April’s recovery. Crypto assets as a whole added $145 billion in April but have since lost $120 billion.
Price action over the past week also showcases how the cryptocurrency has seen its volatility drop compared with the historic norm. Data from CoinMarketCap shows a trading range of $500 for bitcoin compared with last Tuesday. For much of that period, prices hovered between $6,400 and $6,700.
That being said, bitcoin and the broader crypto universe continue to retain a level of volatility rarely seen in the financial market of 2018. Several factors continue to underpin these volatile moves, including low (and declining) liquidity, bad press and competing views about bitcoin’s underlying value.
Researchers at the University of Texas recently tried to show that the bulk of bitcoin’s volatility, and gains over the past year, can be attributed to price manipulation involving the dollar-backed Tether (USDT) and Bitfinex exchange. However, as Hacked’s James Waggoner showed Monday, Bitfinex would have needed to spend $1 million to push up bitcoin’s price level by four reference points claimed in the University of Texas report.