Bitcoin traders see breakout as bulls cling to $44K in ETF countdown


Bitcoin (BTC) focused on $44,000 into its first weekly close of 2024 as multiple new volatility catalysts lined up.

BTC/USD 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin traders expect end to rangebound moves

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed narrowing volatility in BTC price performance over the weekend.

Markets remained nervous as to how BTC/USD might react to the approval or denial of the United States’ first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) — a decision due by Jan. 10.

As Cointelegraph reported, the seminal event is widely predicted to deal a temporary blow to bulls in the form of a BTC price retracement in a “sell the news” event. Others see a chance for knee-jerk upside potentially challenging key psychological levels.

Regardless of which direction the move might take, indicators nonetheless pointed to a breakout from the narrow intraday range.

Among them was the Bollinger Bands volatility indicator, now narrowing on daily timeframes in a classic precursor to range expansion.

“Bollinger Bands tightening even more heading into ETF week,” trader and commentator Matthew Hyland told subscribers on X (formerly Twitter) overnight.

BTC/USD chart with Bollinger Bands data. Source: Matthew Hyland/X

Fellow trader Daan Crypto Trades added that the so-called “spot premium” was once again active on Bitcoin markets, with derivatives traders seemingly wary of going long or short after last week’s snap liquidations.

“The longer we range around this price area the more positions will build up with stop losses/liquidations sitting above and below price,” he continued alongside a heatmap of leveraged BTC/USDT liquidity on largest global exchange Binance.

BTC/USDT liquidation data. Source: Daan Crypto Trades/X

Bitcoin ETF overshadows inbound U.S. CPI, PPI data

While attention remained focused on the ETF, macroeconomic hurdles were waiting in the wings.

Related: March banking crisis rerun risks 40% Bitcoin price crash — Arthur Hayes

These were in the form of U.S. inflation data, with the December prints of both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) due in the coming days.

Traditionally a source of short-term volatility for crypto and risk assets in their own right, the data releases would ostensibly need to show inflation continuing to subside.

As Cointelegraph reported, the key result of this — the Federal Reserve “pivoting” on interest rate policy — is not currently expected to occur at its next dedicated meeting at the end of the month.

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