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Bitcoin Price Analysis – Indications of a bottom

Bitcoin has been trading between $1114-887 this week, according to the BLX, in extremely volatile market conditions with intense bearish momentum. The Network Hashrate gained 3.24% on March 3rd, and has increased 42.48% year to date.

Bitcoin has been trading between $1114-887 this week, according to the BLX, in extremely volatile market conditions with intense bearish momentum. The Network Hashrate gained 3.24% on March 3rd, and has increased 42.48% year to date.

The most important fundamental news this week has been the back and forth exchange between the Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) and Bitcoin Core (BC) factions. BU miner signalling continues to gain ground, up 10% this week. Nodes however, remain heavily in BCs favor.

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Meanwhile, the previous quarterly futures contract from OKCoin closes this week. Below is a chart showing the quarterly contract open dates (orange), the previous quarterly moving to biweekly (blue), and the previous quarterly contract closing (yellow).

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Volatility during these three weeks has previously signaled a bullish exhaustion, and a bearish upcoming quarter. Stability has signaled accumulation, and the bottom of bullish continuation. The spot price has been extremely volatile in this time period, which indicates a bearish upcoming quarter.

At the same time, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) continues to apply stricter Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering requirements. Traders using chinese exchanges are now required to register for accounts in person, or withdraw their current balances. It’s unlikely that domestic Chinese exchange volume will return to previous levels anytime soon, and LocalBitcoin volume will continue at historic levels.

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Japan therefore continues to be the market leader in volume, with 50% of total bitcoin volume traded in the past 24 hours. Japan recently became very accepting of Bitcoin as a currency, recognizing it as legal tender.

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Technical Indicators

Due to the enormous selling pressure over the last week, the bull trend beginning in 2015 is currently being threatened. Let’s gather some evidence on high time frames to assess the safety and validity of the longstanding bull trend.

For the first time in the entire trend, the monthly candle is a risk for a bearish engulfing candle with a few days left to close.

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There is also the possibility of a Cup and Handle, a bullish continuation chart pattern, forming. However, there are a few caveats and conditions.

First, Cup and Handle patterns in traditional markets typically have an age expiration, and this formation is far past that expiration. Second, the ideal volume profile is one with a descending nature, which is definitely not the case here (not shown). Third, the Cup and Handle remains valid as long as the handle low closes above the 0.50 fibonacci retracement level. The smaller the pullback, to say the 0.618 fibonacci retracement level, the higher the probability of bullish continuation. Fourth, the measured target for continuation is taken from the cups horizontal resistance to the low and projected upward, again from the horizontal resistance. This yields a target of ~$2,100 with a 1.618 fibonacci extension of $1,789. It should be noted that upon breaking the horizontal resistance at ~$1,200, there is typically a retest of the horizontal as support. Overall, this pattern has many months yet to complete, but has begun to form and is worth watching.

On the weekly time frame, a powerful trend indicating system is Heikin-Ashi (HA) candles, which use open and close data from the previous period, and open and close data from the current period.

An open and a close above the previous period suggests strong momentum of the given trend. An open and a close within the bounds of the previous period suggests a slowing of trend. A color flip from green to red or red to green indicates the possibility of the beginning of a new trend and the end of the previous trend.

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Depending on the exits and stops, the second consecutive green weekly candle after a red candle has been an excellent entry this entire trend. A bullish continuation is likely should two consecutive green weekly HA candles occur.

On the daily time frame, two indicators provide further details after a large drop: Ichimoku Cloud and Pitchfork.

Ichimoku Cloud uses moving averages and dynamic support and resistance to make projections of key zones, as well as capturing 80% of any given trend. As long as the price remains above the cloud, sentiment remains bullish. Price in the cloud indicates a neutral trend, and below the cloud indicates a bearish trend.

When the Tenkan (T) is over the Kijun (K) sentiment is bullish. K over T would indicate bearish sentiment. When the Lagging Span (LS) is above the cloud and above the price sentiment is bullish, below the cloud and price would indicate bearish sentiment. The best entry signals for the cloud occur when trend is obvious, but 1 or 2 of the signals have yet to become confluent with a higher timeframe trend.

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Since the trend began in late 2015, price has only closed below the cloud once, in early August. This was due to selling pressure created when the Bitfinex hack became public knowledge. Within 35 days the trend corrected, and returned above the cloud. After this most recent 30% selloff, price was again at risk pf closing below the cloud, a bearish trend indicator.

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Yesterday’s candle closed as a dragonfly, which typically indicates that bearish momentum has been exhausted. Price also remains in the cloud which, is classified as a neutral trend indication. The TK lines are touching and uncrossed, a long exit signal if you were still long from the previous bullish TK cross on February 7th. As a whole, the indicator is signalling a trend reset, an opportune time for profit taking.

A bullish re-entry signal would include price above cloud, bullish TK cross, and LS above price and cloud. All of these conditions will probably take a month or more to complete. Including the OKCoin quarterly contract theory, it may take another three months of price stability before bullish momentum continues.

With the Pitchfork indicator, shown below on a Bitstamp, each diagonal of the Pitchfork can be thought of as a PRZ or support/resistance line. The upper blue diagonal zone being ‘most overbought’ or the top bounds of the trend and lower blue diagonal zone being ‘most oversold’ or the bottom bounds of the trend.

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Price briefly closed in the lower bounds of the Pitchfork and is currently retracing closer to mean. The red median line remains the high probability target of the immediate move over the next few weeks.

When diagnosing the health of a trend, the 50 day and 200 day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) on the daily time frame is very valuable. Much like the Bitfinex hack and subsequent trend reset in August, price bounced from the 200EMA. Again, this suggests trend continuation over trend reversal.

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Adding an oscillator to the mix, such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI), determines market momentum. Divergences occur when price action does not match momentum.

A bearish divergence is created when price makes a higher high but RSI does not. This suggests weakening of bullish momentum. A bullish divergence is created when price makes a lower low and RSI makes a higher low. This suggests weakening of bearish momentum.

Divergences suggest trend reversal, however, divergences can continue growing until the reversal becomes obvious and should be thought of as a lagging indicator.

There are hidden divergences, which require further explanation. A hidden bullish divergence is created when price makes a higher low and RSI makes a lower low. This indicates, despite an increase in bearish momentum, bearish pressure is being exhausted.

A hidden bearish divergence is created when price makes a lower high and RSI makes a higher high. This indicates, despite bullish momentum, bullish pressure is being exhausted. Over the course of this trend, hidden bull divergences on the daily time frame have been a strong indication of bullish continuation.

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The current hidden bullish divergence holding would indicate strong bullish continuation from this point forward.

Lasty, on the four hour time frame, there is currently a completed and active bullish butterfly harmonic pattern. Harmonic patterns typically have a target zone of the 0.50-0.618 fibonacci retracement zone. A secondary target of the diagonal resistance from the previous double top is also a viable target.

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BU hard fork fear, uncertainty, and doubt remains ever-present, until, if, or when it happens. Long term holders will see this as a price blip in the grand scheme of things, whereas risk-averse traders would do better staying out of the market for now, until BU, SegWit, or both are activated. With a 30% drop from all-time high, price is beginning to show signs of a bottom and trend reset. This may precede a period of relative stability over the next three months, followed by bullish continuation to $1,789-$2,100 by year’s end.


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