The largest cryptocurrency by market cap is likely to remain stubbornly rangebound a little above $29,000, a number of analysts are saying.
Both Bitcoin and Ether remained flat during the Asia trading session, with the world’s largest digital asset up 0.32% to $29,186.24 and Ether down 0.18% to $1,832.
For the last few weeks, the crypto market has been fairly flat after excitement about a new series of bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications subsided.
However, on-chain data suggests that this might soon change. Recent data from Glassnode suggests a decrease in long-term Bitcoin holders, specifically those who held the cryptocurrency for 12 to 24 months and 5 to 7 years, indicating a potential shift in investor sentiment, CoinDesk reported earlier.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange experienced a 24% increase in crypto options trading volume, with Bitcoin options rising 16.6% and Ether options jumping 60%, suggesting institutional investors might be using options as a hedge amidst market uncertainty.
Altcoin Trading Also Slow
ADA, SOL and MATIC, the tokens of smart contracts platforms, Cardano, Solana and Polygon, were all recently off more than 2.5%. And UNI, the native crypto of decentralized exchange Uniswap, continued its downward momentum to fall more than 1.3%.
The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets performance was recently up 0.52%.
"I suspect that we will trend sideways for a good long while, perhaps for the next several months or even well into next year," Bob Baxley, a core contributor to DeFi infrastructure provider Maverick Protocol, wrote in an email to CoinDesk. "There isn’t enough fresh capital flowing into the space at the moment for a meaningful rally."
But Baxley added optimistically that shifting conditions will lead to "an inflow of both users and new capital."
"I say this because Ethereum is seeing its foundations become sturdier and its applications more sophisticated and increasingly friendly for users," he wrote.
Meanwhile, U.S. equity markets ticked down slightly as bond yields rose, a sign of lessening investor appetite for risk assets. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.
In an email to CoinDesk, Brent Xu, CEO and co-founder of Web3 bond-market platform Umee, wrote that crypto prices are unlikely to spike for a prolonged period "until the macro environment softens more," including a cessation of the interest rate hiking that has characterized central banking policy for more than 16 months.
"We are certainly close to peak rates, though we could have another hike or two ahead of us depending on how sticky inflation actually is," Xu wrote. "I’m not convinced inflation is falling as fast as many are hoping. In short, we have a long way to go before we enter the optimistic phase of the cycle.”
Xu added: "We experienced such a meteoric surge..., especially with Bitcoin, that I don’t know how these levels can be sustained, let alone surpassed in a meaningful way. We’re left with money already in the digital asset ecosystem just getting recycled through various coins over and again, as has happened in previous down markets."