Bitcoin bulls and bears battle for control of a key area on the BTC chart, with network fundamentals due new all-time highs.
Bitcoin (BTC) is fighting for the bull trend as the new week begins as the market acts within a crucial zone.
After closing the weekly candle at just below $27,000, BTC/USD is attempting to cement support as a stubborn trading zone holds.
The stakes are already high — last week saw a flash dip below $26,000 and two-month lows for Bitcoin, making traders fearful of a larger bearish breakdown to come.
While this has not materialized, nerves remain on both shorter and longer timeframes.
Where is price action likely headed next? A relatively cool week of macro triggers means less chance of volatility from external sources.
Add to that the upcoming difficulty adjustment taking it to yet another all-time high, and the case could well be made for upside continuation.
Cointelegraph takes a look at some of the major BTC price factors affecting the week ahead.
Bitcoin price weekly close offers mixed signals
After clinching a weekly close at around $27,930, Bitcoin is already headed higher, reaching $27,550 overnight, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows.
While encouraging, the close nonetheless marked Bitcoin’s weakest since mid-March – something popular trader and analyst Rekt Capital is keenly aware of.
In part of Twitter analysis on the day, he warned that $27,600 was now the level to flip to support.
“First, BTC failed to reclaim the $28800 level on the Weekly (orange). And then $BTC Weekly Closed below $27600, failing to hold it as support (black),” he summarized alongside a chart showing recent weekly-timeframe events.
BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Rekt Capital/ Twitter
That perspective reinforces existing warnings from the weekend, and adds to a small group of well-known pundits still entertaining the possibility of a significant BTC price retracement.
Continuing, however, Rekt Capital now sounded more upbeat about Bitcoin overall, looking beyond the current correction and its potential target.
“Bitcoin has already broken its Downtrend. Now it’s all about continuing the new Uptrend,” another tweet reasoned.
On weekly timeframes, the key trend line looming large thus remains the 200-week moving average (WMA), which at $26,200 has already received its first retest.
BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp) with 200MA. Source: TradingView
Rekt Capital described the retest as “successful,” but reiterated the need to reclaim $27,600 next.
“Situation is very dynamic at this time,” he added.
Litecoin leads Bitcoin, altcoin “continuation”
Others gave more credence to the strength of short-timeframe rebound action into the new week.
Micha?l van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, described BTC/USD as “ready for continuation.”
“Holding crucial level at $27K and we’ll be ready for a potential run towards the highs,” part of a Twitter update stated, adding that Litecoin (LTC) was giving a taste of what might be to come.
LTC/USD traded up over 8% in the 24 hours to the time of writing, hitting its highest since May 6.
BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Micha?l van de Poppe/Twitter
Likewise preferring the longer-term trend was popular trader Moustache, who considered current weaker price moves as Bitcoin and altcoins taking a “breather.”
“Opinion remains unchanged. Just a breather before things go really crazy,” commentary on a chart of the total crypto market cap read.
Total crypto market cap annotated chart. Source: Moustache/ Twitter
Trader and analyst Trader Tardigrade, also known as Alan, made similarly bullish forecasts based on Bitcoin’s weekly relative strength index (RSI) readings.
For him, even the weekly close was cause for optimism.
#Bitcoin weekly candle closed.We’ve seen $BTC closed above a major support with stop hunt done.RSI stays above 50 indicating a Bull bias.#BTC #Crypto pic.twitter.com/VXg6kM78dQ
Flood of Fed speakers culminates with Chair Powell
Those seeking some macroeconomic risk asset price triggers may be left out this week, as events in the United States are set for calm.
After a ream of macro data prints the week prior, the event of the coming days is set to come in the form of a speech by Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve, on May 19.
As financial commentary resource, The Kobeissi Letter, notes, a total of 14 Fed officials are due to deliver commentary in the coming days, with plenty of potential conflicts in store.
You can’t make this up, here the Fed members speaking this week:
1. Bostic – Monday2. Kashkari – Monday3. Barkin – Monday4. Cook – Monday5. Mester – Tuesday6. Bostic – Tuesday7. Barr – Tuesday8. Logan – Tuesday9. Jefferson – Thursday10. Barr – Thursday11. Logan -…
Kobeissi added that volatility “should start to return to markets” as a result.
A separate point of interest meanwhile comes in the form of U.S. dollar strength. In a market update on May 12, trading firm QCP Capital eyed a return to downside for the U.S. dollar index (DXY) as the key event needed for risk assets to get the green light.
“We see USD strength as the main reason capping BTC, which has led to the market’s reflexivity blaming known bearish factors such as the large upcoming supply from the US government and Mt. Gox,” it stated.
DXY saw a week of recovery through May 14, having bounced at 101, near its lowest levels since April last year.
U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-week candle chart. Source: TradingView
BTC mining difficulty set to resume all-time highs
In a return to what has become classic behavior in 2023, Bitcoin network difficulty is once again due new all-time highs.
After its previous adjustment produced a slight retracement, difficulty is due to increase by around 2% this week, according to estimates from BTC.com.
Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.com
This will mark continuation of a difficulty uptrend which has marked most of the year, with competition for block subsidies among miners firmly in “up only” mode.
The trend has been unaffected by recent short-lived upheaval in fee markets, and as Cointelegraph reported, miner revenues have increased dramatically as a result.
After a tough 2022, with BTC up 65% YTD and transaction fees rising due to ordinals, Bitcoin miners are now bringing in the most revenue they have in over a year at roughly $40 million a day pic.twitter.com/kWbyIGoGRR
Accompanying estimates for hash rate, depending on source, likewise show the processing power dedicated to mining at or near all-time highs.
Bitcoin mean hash rate chart. Source: Glassnode
Sentiment flush accompanies market cooling
Some much-needed relief for those worried about overt “greed” impacting crypto markets – sentiment has seen a reset in recent days.
Related: ‘Don’t short when it’s dark green’ — How to trade the 2024 Bitcoin halving
After hitting its highest levels since November 2021, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index shows irrational exuberance taking a major hit thanks to the recent cross-asset price comedown.
As of May 15, Fear & Greed measures 50/100 – exactly midway between its two extremes and characteristic of “neutral” market sentiment.
Crypto Fear & Greed Index (screenshot). Source: Alternative.me
In coverage on the day, research firm Santiment noted that recent hype around memecoins has also dissipated, with interest returning to stablecoins in a broad cooling of the mood.
“With Bitcoin at $27.4k and #Ethereum at $1,825, traders continue to sour at the fact that markets have been stagnant,” it argued.
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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.