Worst month since 2022 bear market? 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week

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Bitcoin (BTC) heads into the April monthly close on an uncertain footing as BTC price action falls to ten-day lows.

The largest cryptocurrency continues to tread water beneath significant resistance levels after a week of sustained selling during Wall Street trading hours.

Macro and geopolitical instability have added to what has become a potent mixture for Bitcoin bulls to grapple with this month — can they turn things around?

The April candle close has just days left to avoid becoming Bitcoin’s worst month of 2024 so far.

The immediate landscape remains problematic — seller interest between spot price and new all-time highs is considerable, and while price discovery is only around $12,000 away, such levels seem firmly out of reach.

Market observers are thus looking the other way — to key areas of support should downside pressure keep piling on.

Optimists argue that BTC/USD is merely ranging, meanwhile, and that time will produce a bull market continuation of the sort enjoyed in Q1.

Its comeback may be helped by a dose of deja vu this week — less than four months after the United States, Hong Kong is set to launch its own spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Cointelegraph takes a look at these key topics and more in the weekly rundown of all things BTC price-related.

Bitcoin risks worst month since November 2022

The weekly close provided little respite for battered Bitcoin traders as BTC/USD continued dropping into the Asia session.

BTC/USD 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Hitting lows of $61,943 on Bitstamp, per data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView, the pair thus saw its lowest levels since April 19.

The week prior, relief bounces toward $65,000 had repeatedly encountered selling pressure around the Wall Street open which commentators including popular trader Skew attributed to U.S. automated trading algorithms.

“I do see the potential for longer crab between $67K – $58K till proper flow supported breakout,” he continued in fresh analysis on X (formerly Twitter) on April 29.

Bears have so far failed to keep the market below $60,000 for long. Even at current levels around $62,000, however, April is on track to deliver more than 12% losses.

Data from monitoring resource CoinGlass confirms that this would make it Bitcoin’s worst-performing month since November 2022 — the height of the latest bear market.

BTC/USD monthly returns (screenshot). Source: CoinGlass

Skew continued that wherever it ends up, the monthly close would form a key new BTC price focus in its own right.

“1M close is in 2days roughly, following that close monthly & weekly open will act as very pivotal levels,” he wrote, describing one-month timeframes as “not bad at all” and reiterating the significance of $58,000 as support.

BTC/USD chart. Source: Skew/X

Dramatic yen volatility greets FOMC week 

Significant macroeconomic events keep coming this week with the next interest rates decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

While markets expect no surprises from the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), recent macro data prints have concerned risk-asset bulls. Lower rates may come much later than anticipated at the start of the year, they fear, as shown in estimates from CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Fed funds probabilities (screenshot). Source: CME Group

“We have a massive week ahead of us,” trading resource The Kobeissi Letter summarized in its weekly macro outlook thread on X.

“After a month full of hot inflation data, we will finally get the Fed’s updated views.”

It is not just FOMC; headlining the week’s macro events is accompanying commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on May 1, followed by jobless claims and unemployment data on May 2 and May 3, respectively.

For Bitcoin and risk assets, however, all may not be so bad — unless views turn to favor a significant worsening of economic circumstances.

“Worst case scenario would be consecutively bad spells for risk assets & potentially leads to bets of economy somehow breaking apart,” Skew explained about the outlook.

“Probably see sweep of $50K – $46K area. Don’t see that happening till there’s HTF close below $58K & narrative for a breakdown.”

USD/JPY 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Some signs of stress are clearly apparent this week. The U.S. witnessed a fresh regional bank failure, while in Japan, the yen hit its lowest levels against the dollar since 1990 in flash volatility, passing 160 before rebounding.

Hong Kong Bitcoin ETFs due for launch

Sticking in Asia, the coming week marks a seminal moment in Bitcoin institutional adoption.

Like the U.S. in January, Hong Kong is about to open the doors to spot Bitcoin ETFs — and anticipation of copycat interest and price impact is already building.

Citing a 2022 report from crypto exchange Huobi, Willy Woo, creator of on-chain statistics platform Woobull, underscored what could be serious demand for spot ETF products.

“The Asian market in user count is BIGGER than the US and European markets combined,” part of an X post noted.

In a preliminary report on the upcoming release, blockchain research and advisory group House of Chimera put potential inflows at $25 billion, citing estimates from crypto financial services platform Matrixport.

“The substantial capital potential might lead to increased liquidity and possibly stabilize Bitcoin prices,” it wrote on X.

“It also sets a precedent for other Asian markets, potentially influencing further regulatory adjustments in favor of crypto.”

House of Chimera noted that investor participation from mainland China — which would represent a key turnaround in a country which has repeatedly attempted to quash crypto activity — could end up “restricted” due to regulatory hurdles.

“While the introduction of Bitcoin ETFs in Hong Kong is a landmark development, its success and impact on the broader market will depend heavily on regulatory environments, investor sentiment, and macroeconomic factors influencing cryptocurrency valuations,” it concluded.

Key BTC price support lines ready for retest

As Bitcoin lingers close to significant support levels — among them, $60,000 and $58,000 — one trendline in particular is beginning to stand out as a line in the sand.

As Cointelegraph reported, the aggregate cost basis of Bitcoin’s short-term holders (STHs) is now of interest to analysts.

This investor cohort corresponds to entities holding a portion of BTC for a maximum of 155 days, essentially making up the speculative end of the investor spectrum.

STH realized price, currently at just under $59,800, now forms a key level to watch. Throughout the recovery from 2022 bear market lows, it has acted as support, with only a brief period in September last year breaking the paradigm.

“Will it hold as support this time?” Philip Swift, creator of on-chain data platform Look Into Bitcoin, queried.

Bitcoin STH realized price chart. Source: Philip Swift/X

Two mid-term exponential moving averages, or EMAs, which form what is known as the “bull market support band,” are meanwhile also lining up to act as damage control in the event of a deeper retracement.

“As we keep consolidating, the bull market support band is catching up to price,” popular trader Daan Crypto Trades wrote in his latest post on the topic.

“This should offer good support if we were to touch it. Back in 2021 when we broke the 2017 all time high, we ended up not needing it but took off before the band could catch up.”

BTC/USD chart with bull market support band. Source: Daan Crypto Trades/X

Retail investors circle back to Bitcoin

In a potential sign of encouragement despite lackluster BTC price action, smaller retail investor interest is returning.

Related: Crypto trader sees best ‘altseason’ since 2017 as Bitcoin price cools

As noted by Checkmate, the pseudonymous lead on-chain analyst at on-chain data platform Glassnode, wallets with less than 100 BTC are busy increasing exposure.

He referred to data from his own resource, Checkonchain, which showed 30-day rolling wallet balances flipping positive on April 8 for the first time since mid-January.

“The Bitcoin retail holders, who are apparently degenerates who will sell on the first sign of a correction… …appear to be stacking sats once again,” he concluded.

“Shrimp (<1 $BTC) are accumulating 12.2k $BTC per month as it stands.”

Bitcoin retail holder rolling balance change. Source: Checkonchain

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.