Bitcoin’s trading range is narrowing as speculators seek positions on the right side of a potential break-out.
Optimists are crowding into trades when it’s crossing above $10,000, while pessimists are looking to exit when it approaches $12,000, according to an analysis of Bitstamp’s volume-weighted prices over the past month.
“It’s irrational how fixated people become around psychological levels,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. in London, said in an interview. “It’s like the Dow people fixated on breaking 20,000,” he said, referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average testing that level repeatedly. It was broken about three years ago and is now above 25,000.
Identifying the precise levels that trigger adrenaline in the market is important for trading the world’s largest cryptocurrency. That’s because, with scant fundamentals and an opaque ownership structure, knowing the pressure points of others can be paramount for investors.
The data currently underline a growing confidence in the digital coin when it holds above the round number of $10,000, and a thinning out near $12,000. It’s only closed above the higher number five times this year. Bitcoin in fact is demonstrating an almost inverse bell curve of prices, the analysis shows.
“You’re seeing it range-bound now,” said Erlam. “And the highs it’s been reaching are lower and lower. When it breaks out of this range, you could see a fairly strong move down.
The most-traded virtual currency .was steady at $10,358 versus Friday’s close as of 7:41 a.m. in New York.
Indeed, Bitcoin’s volatility has diminished over the past month. It’s 30-day average daily move is 2.4% up or down, compared with 5.5% back in mid-July, according to a separate Bloomberg study.
A similar study using data from Coinbase Inc., another of the largest crypto platforms, also showed a strong concentration at $10,000, though less so approaching $12,000.