Highest monthly close ever — 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week

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Bitcoin (BTC) starts a new week, month and quarter of 2024 with several new records — can the bull market continue from here?

BTC price action made history on March 31 as Q1 ended with the highest close ever seen.

Old resistance is not giving up without a fight, however — a battle between buyers and sellers is keeping old all-time highs from 2021 firmly on the table.

Price discovery thus remains elusive, with Bitcoin needing a push to $74,000 in order to knock out the bulk of latecomer sell-side liquidity.

The stage is thus set for some potentially volatile moves as Q2 gets underway.

Adding to the mixture is the classic macroeconomic data element, with nonfarm payrolls due from the United States at the end of the week.

This will be preceded by fresh commentary from Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve. Last week, Bitcoin appeared to respond positively to Powell, who kept the prospect of interest rate cuts in 2024 in focus.

As Bitcoin itself stays higher for longer, meanwhile, seasoned hodlers are increasingly taking profit — going against the influx of institutional capital from the spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Cointelegraph takes a look at these issues and others in the weekly summary of what is apt to impact BTC price action in the coming days.

BTC pric clinches record weekly, monthly, quarterly close

Bitcoin — to all intents and purposes — delivered for bulls at the end of Q1.

At just below $70,300, the March 31 weekly, monthly and quarterly close became its highest in history.

A predictable retracement followed, however, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showing local lows of $68,900 coming hours later.

BTC/USD 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

On short timeframes, BTC/USD thus remains caught in a range that was already familiar from last month. $69,000 — its old all-time high from 2021 — continues to act as a market focus.

For popular trader Skew, caution is warranted until clearer trend signals arrive.

“Going to be more observant here before jumping into positions,” he wrote in one of his latest posts on X (formerly Twitter).

“So far 4H trend is still intact, will be looking for the market to maintain this with sufficient spot buying & perp bid for momentum.”

Skew additionally flagged the first Wall Street open as significant, with this marking the return of ETF flows.

“Biggest HTF level for now is $69K,” he confirmed about higher timeframes alongside an illustrative chart.

“Monthly/Weekly open will be important later.”

BTC/USD chart with support levels. Source: Skew/X

Popular trader and analyst Rekt Capital was more upbeat about the candle closes.

Bitcoin, he argued, could easily challenge the top of its range in order to confirm it as longer-term support before using this as a basis for fresh upside.

“Bitcoin has kickstarted the breakout process,” he told X followers on April 1.

“Weekly Close above the Range High is the 1st step. And if $BTC needs to dip into the RH to successfully retest it as new support before continuing higher… That would be the 2nd step to fully confirming the breakout.”

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: Rekt Capital/X

For Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm MNTrading, the low-timeframe trend revolves around two clear lines in the sand: $67,000 and $71,700.

“If either of the two happens, probably direction is chosen,” he predicted.

“I think we’ll have one final ATH test before halving happens.”

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Michaël van de Poppe/X

Powell, unemployment lead U.S. macro diary

A fresh appearance from Fed Chair Powell forms one highlight of the upcoming U.S. macro week.

Powell will deliver prepared remarks on April 3, joining several other senior Fed officials through the week.

Risk assets continue to stay optimistic around long-term economic policy, with some form of interest rate cuts all but guaranteed as 2024 progresses.

Last week, Powell said that even recent “hot” inflation reports should not form the basis for an overly hawkish stance on the economy, and that the Fed would take a more balanced approach in timing cuts.

This week’s data meanwhile centers on nonfarm payrolls — a release which recently contributed to BTC price volatility, due April 5.

“US employment data due on Friday. And just like prior US data points / FOMC… an opportunity to pick up some cheap tokens could be ahead,” financial commentator Tedtalksmacro commented in part of an X post on the week ahead.

“Currently, the market is on par with the Fed at 3 cuts priced for the end of the year. As with inflation data, employment data will move markets on any significant miss.”

Tedtalksmacro explained that “weak” jobs numbers would boost the odds of an earlier rate cut and thus fuel risk-asset strength.

“It’s all about jobs data and Fed speakers are we officially kick off the second quarter,” trading resource The Kobeissi Letter agreed in its own weekly outlook.

Source: The Kobeissi Letter

Bitcoin long-term holders become active sellers

As Bitcoin sets new records on the charts, long-term holders are wasting little time in taking profit.

What was first a trickle is now gaining pace, on-chain data shows — Bitcoin’s “diamond hands” are no longer on the sidelines.

In the latest edition of its weekly newsletter, “The Week On-Chain,” analytics firm Glassnode revealed a fresh peak in realized profits. These refer to coins moving on-chain from two investor cohorts: short-term holders (STHs) and long-term holders (LTHs).

STHs are entities hodling coins for less than 155 days, and reflect the more speculative end of the Bitcoin investor spectrum. LTHs, by contrast, are those willing to hodl BTC with more conviction.

Last month, as BTC/USD hit all-time highs of $73,700, a spike in profit-taking occurred, which peaked at around $2.6 billion per day. Of this, Glassnode showed, 40% came from LTHs.

The situation has since changed — overall profit-taking has significantly declined, but LTHs still represent a significant chunk of realized profits.

On March 31, these totaled just over $1 billion, with LTHs accounting for nearly half of the tally.

“From this, analysts can start to consider LTHs as an increasingly important cohort when assessing the magnitude of sell-side supply pressure moving forwards,” Glassnode wrote in its newsletter.

Bitcoin realized profit by cohort. Source: Glassnode

BTC price “near identical” to December 2020

Glassnode also unveiled what it calls a “remarkable similarity” between current BTC price action and its previous bull market in 2021.

Overlaying this year’s performance against that of previous cycles, it shows the 2011-2013 cycle as a clear outlier.

This in turn challenges the concept that institutional interest has delivered a new BTC price paradigm this year.

“If we index price performance (black) since the April 2021 ATH (where we argue bear market sentiment set in), we can see a remarkable similarity to the prior cycle (blue), “The Week On-Chain” explained about a cycle comparison chart.

“By both duration and distance from the April 2021 peak, the market is in a near identical spot to December 2020 relative to the 2018-21 cycle.”

BTC price performance comparison (screenshot). Source: Glassnode

December 2020 marked a launchpad moment for Bitcoin, which took off from its prior all-time highs to enter price discovery after first retesting them for around two weeks.

As Cointelegraph reported, this year nonetheless marks the first instance of an all-time high coming immediately before a block subsidy halving.

Gold, stocks prep crypto “bullish divergence”

Crypto market sentiment is increasingly anticipating a shot at price discovery across markets, data shows.

Related: Bitcoin exchanges’ BTC balances have dropped almost $10B in 2024

The latest readings from the Crypto Fear & Greed Index reveal the return of “extreme greed” as the characterizing mood among Bitcoin and altcoin market participants.

This has come independent of a marked price uptick, suggesting that should the bull market deliver snap upside, traders could become increasingly irrational.

Fear & Greed has remained steadily above levels seen during the 2021 all-time highs, but still with room to increase before entering levels synonymous with cross-market price corrections.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index (screenshot). Source: Alternative.me

Analyzing the impetus for investor optimism last week, research firm Santiment argued that it could form part of wider belief in risk assets.

“Crypto traders normally hope that Bitcoin and other assets carve their own market performance path, without reliance on equities or other sectors,” it wrote on X.

“But for a change, the crowd has been suggesting that the strong #AllTimeHigh levels from the #SP500 and gold are creating a bullish divergence for $BTC and altcoins to be pulled up from profit distributions from these other sectors.”

Bitcoin vs. risk asset comparison. Source: Santiment/X

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.