Whether it be long or short timeframes, Bitcoin is giving market observers cause for increasing frustration. Despite a tug-of-war between bulls and bears on exchanges, neither party seems able to set a new BTC price trend in motion.
Will the status quo remain this week?
With few macroeconomic triggers in store, catalysts for change will need to come from elsewhere. Whales are accumulating, data suggests, fueling an argument that Bitcoin is preparing its next major breakout phase in classic style.
A similar conclusion comes from some of the narrowest volatility recorded for Bitcoin courtesy of the Bollinger Bands metric, with current conditions rivalling September 2016 and January 2023.
By definition, it may simply be a matter of time before history repeats itself.
Bitcoin copycat move begins new rangebound week
The weekly close saw a modicum of volatility return to Bitcoin spot price performance, but just like last week, this was short lived.
Following the new weekly candle open, BTC/USD dipped to test $29,000 before returning to its previous position — one that still holds at the time of writing, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows.
Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, noted the similarities while repeating his view that $29,700 is the level for bulls to reclaim.
Over the weekend, van de Poppe described the lack of volatility overall as “extremely astonishing.”
“Holding onto support, all good. Continue the range. Party starts above $29,700.”
Popular trader Daan Crypto Trades held a similar opinion on short-term movements, noting that even weekend conditions were trending toward unusually calm extremes.
“Dancing around the CME Close price as expected. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything different,” he summarized.
“Volatility this time around was extremely low. Even for a weekend.”
An accompanying chart put the CME Bitcoin futures closing price for the week prior at $29,465 as the focal point for the start of the week.
Weekly close clinches key BTC pric level
The weekly close itself nonetheless did manage to offer a glimmer of hope for those analyzing longer-term trends.
In an X post just before the event, Rekt Capital referenced previous BTC price behavior after a close at $29,250 or higher.
“But if BTC is able to Weekly Close above ~$29250, then that upside wick won’t be as bearish.”
Providing a potential headwind was relative strength index (RSI) data, which on on-week timeframes continued to print a bearish divergence with price.
Historical data gives few clues as to how BTC/USD might behave before the monthly close.
Low volatility spurs BTC price breakout predictions
The latest data lays bare just how static the landscape has become — and what should come afterward.
The Bitcoin Historical Volatility Index (BVOL) currently measures 9.57 on weekly timeframes, rapidly retracing to all-time lows from the start of this year.
What happened when Bitcoin broke out from a downtrend in January is no secret, with its Q1 upside totalling 70%.
“A matter of 1–2 weeks before we’ll be having a big move on the markets.”
Similar findings come from the Bollinger Bands volatility indicator, now also repeating behavior from the start of 2023.
Bollinger Bands narrowing preclude a price breakout, and while it’s unknown whether this would be up or down, the extent of price compression has market participants preparing for dramatic change.
“The spread between the Upper and Lower Bollinger Bands for Bitcoin is just 2.9% and is as tight as it has ever been,” Checkmate, lead on-chain analyst at Glassnode, wrote in part of an X post on Aug. 14.
Checkmate revealed that Bitcoin had printed tighter Bollinger Bands just twice in its history — in September 2016 and January 2023.
“Wild stuff,” he concluded.
Whale “reaccumulation” narrative strengthens
This is continuing, analysis shows, and what looks like accumulation is becoming an ever-larger talking point for those seeking signs of the bull market returning.
Maartunn, a contributor to on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, flagged the emergence of new whales on major exchange Bitfinex as proof that “something is brewing under the surface.”
And #Bitmex whales have joined the party. During the last night, I’ve got 3 notifications from massive new long positions
— Maartunn (@JA_Maartun) August 13, 2023
“Strong start off the cycle bottom, now in re-accumulation mode,” on-chain and cycle analyst Root continued, pointing to realized price figures.
Fed FOMC minutes lead cool macro week
Crypto markets are in for a relatively quiet macroeconomic data period, in line with the summer lull.
This week, while “big” for United States consumer data, has Federal Reserve minutes as its main highlight.
Key Events This Week:
1. July Retail Sales data – Tuesday
2. Building Permits data – Wednesday
3. Fed Meeting Minutes – Wednesday
4. Initial Jobless Claims – Thursday
5. Philly Fed PMI data – Thursday
Big week for consumer data.
— The Kobeissi Letter (@KobeissiLetter) August 13, 2023
Those minutes will show the attitudes of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members toward interest rate policy as they were when rates were hiked last month.
Risk asset traders continue to look toward the September FOMC meeting for a potential rate hike pause — something which should benefit crypto as well.
According to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, the odds of that happening stand at almost 90%, with the meeting still over a month away.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.