Bitcoin risks closing below the 50-week moving average (MA) – an important long-term support not breached for over two-and-a-half years.
With the bears already on the offensive following the recent sell-off, prices are likely to suffer if bitcoin closes on Sunday below the key support, currently seen at $7,611. More worryingly for the bulls, since the cryptocurrency has not traded below the 50-week MA since October 2015, acceptance below that level would only add credence to the argument that the long-term bull run has ended.
As of writing, bitcoin is changing hands at $7,449 on Bitfinex, having dropped below the 50-week MA on May 23.
Weekly chart (2015–2018)
As seen on the chart above, the long-term moving average had acted as a strong support in the first quarter. BTC found strong bids in mid April following the repeated failure (marked by a circle) on the part of the bears to penetrate the 50-week MA.
Subsequently, the rally from the 50-week MA to $9,990 (May 5 high) reinforced the moving average as a strong long-term support. Hence, a downside break would raise the odds of a slide to fresh 2017 lows below $6,000.
Looking ahead, price chart analysis suggests that bitcoin is likely to end the week below the key $7,611 level.
To start with, the weekly relative strength index (RSI) is below 50.00 (in the bearish territory) and trending south in favor of the bears. The RSI has also found acceptance below the key support zone of 53.55–55.00, which only strengthens the bear case.
Meanwhile, the daily chart below also shows scope for a drop below $7,000.
The bears currently have the upper hand, as indicated by the lower highs and lower lows pattern, downside break of the channel, downward sloping (bearish) 5-day and 10-day MAs.
The RSI is holding below 50.00 (in the bearish territory), but well above 30.00 (oversold region), indicating room for sell-off to $6,870 (triangle support).
Despite the bullish price RSI divergence on the hourly chart, BTC failed to cross the falling trendline hurdle, underscoring the strong bearish sentiment in the market.
- BTC looks set to close below the 50-week MA (at $7,611) for the first time since October 2015, signaling a major bearish breakdown and opening the doors for a re-test of $6,000 (2018 low).
- A corrective rally may save the day for the bulls, however, the probability of a bearish weekly close below the 50-week MA will remain high as long as bitcoin is trading below $8,644 (May 21 high).
Bitcoin in water image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.