Bitcoin has been dancing on critical support over the weekend after it was rejected north of $48,000. The first crypto by market cap has experienced a persistent downwards trend and trades at $45,937 with 1.5% losses in the past day.
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BTC on a downtrend in the 4-hour chart. Source: BTCUSD Tradingview
It seems any attempt from the bulls to take back control it’s faded due to aggressive selling pressure. Bitcoin could be negatively reacting to a more hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve, and fresh uncertainty in the legacy market as COVID-19’s Omicron variant spreads.
The financial institution led by Jerome Powell has been hinting at an early start of tapering. According to pseudonym analyst Lightcrypto, this caused large investors to de-risk and dump their positions when BTC made a run for $60,000.
In consequence, these institutional operators changed their strategy to protect their end-of-the-year (EOY) profits and were cautions to re-enter the market in these current conditions. Light, similar to other analysts, believes Bitcoin has been seeing “programmatic selling behavior”.
OTC flows all this week have all been people tapering their positions. Today marks the final day of the year for many funds and corps.
I dont have a feel if that means for the market.historically we've the gambit of price action during the holidays w/ Q1 setting a new trend.
— IamNomad (@IamNomad) December 17, 2021
As NewsBTC reported, the downwards trend has impacted the derivatives sector causing a 25% decrease in Open Interest (OI). In combination with reduced participation from retail investors, attracted to other cryptocurrencies rather than Bitcoin, it has strengthened the current price action. The analyst said:
Whereas bulls have been cautious, bears have taken to aggression, pushing perpetuals basis negative on some venues and building OI, while the large players who derisked in the $60k area have reversed course and begun to absorb panic- and short-selling.
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On the bright side, the programmatic selling behavior described by Light could end in the short-term leading the door open for the subsequent rally. Via Twitter, analysts from Material Indicators shared data that suggested a historic end for this behavior from December 20th to 25th.
Binance shows signs of scheduled selling. Most months this year (legend), we saw accelerated selling into mid-month. It stops around the 20th – 25th of every month, also generally marking the bottoms on PA. Not following this pattern, marked tops for the given month.#BTC pic.twitter.com/lH4YMM0Ps3
— Material Scientist (@Mtrl_Scientist) December 19, 2021
Usually, this relief in selling pressure leads the market to a Santa Rally, an increase in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies prices post-Christmas eve. This time the phenomenon could take the market by surprise, Light claimed the following about the possibility for big players to try to get ahead in the next bullish trend:
Funds are likely done (or close to it) with structural sell flows, are cashed-up, and will now consider frontrunning the other way, namely, incoming buy flows in January.
The decrease in OI and leverage positions, the fact Bitcoin has seen a 35% dropped from its all-time high into a historically bullish season, and the fact big players now have the cash to take new positions, support Light’s bullish thesis. The analyst believes the bears will be “stoneless soon enough”.
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In addition, Light pointed out that two major crypto exchanges, Huobi and OKEx, will remove the “majority of mainland users”. This could have bullish implications for Bitcoin as the Asia trading sessions have resulted in negative price action in 2021.
Source: Johannes Hofmann via Twitter