At times, Bitcoin looks as though it may be moving towards recapturing the $40K support line. But then, only a few hours later, Bitcoin seems to take a turn in the opposite direction. Still, the price of BTC seems to have developed some fairly resilient support around the $30K line. The only time Bitcoin did manage to dip below $30K over the past several weeks, it quickly snapped back up.
Since that point, Bitcoin continued along the same meandering trajectory–wandering around $32K-$34K, occasionally visiting the neighbourhood of $35K-$39K. In comparison to the astronomical journey of swells and dips that Bitcoin went on earlier this year, it seems as though Bitcoin is taking it easy.
Mixed messages from Bitcoin
So the big question is all about what’s going to come next. Will BTC crash through $30K after all? Will it surge past $40K, $50K, and reach new heights above $60K? What gives?
(The answer, of course, depends on who you ask.)
Cointelegraph reported this morning that the number of active addresses on the Bitcoin network fell sharply over the course of the past several weeks, from 1.3 million to approximately 500,000–roughly 60%. The drop caused the number of active wallets on the Ethereum to take the lead over Bitcoin for the third time in a month. Before this, the last time that the Ethereum network had more active wallet addresses than Bitcoin was in early 2017.
A Twitter analyst known as “Mr. Whale” also pointed out that based on a weekly moving average, active addresses on the Bitcoin network have fallen to their lowest point since April of 2020–a point at which many analysts tie to BTC’s run to $60K earlier this year.
“Bitcoin’s active addresses on the blockchain network just plunged to its lowest level since April 2020,” Mr. Whale wrote on Twitter. “This data is bearish. It shows demand for Bitcoin is drying up very quickly.”
Bitcoin’s active addresses on the blockchain network just plunged to its lowest level since April 2020.
This data is bearish. It shows demand for Bitcoin is drying up very quickly. pic.twitter.com/vdmwagbvtm
— Mr. Whale (@CryptoWhale) July 1, 2021
The dip in the number of active Bitcoin addresses could indicate several things. However, it’s likely that this change has much to do with the exodus or domancy of retail investors who entered the market for the first time during BTC’s big rally throughout 2020 and earlier in 2021. If these retail investors fail to actively re-enter the market, it’s unclear what the long-term consequences could be.
“Bitcoin is like a spring. We stretch it too much and we put too much leverage.”
Some analysts don’t seem to be too concerned about the dip in active wallet activity. Alex Mashinsky, chief executive of Celsius and renowned crypto commentator, told CoinTelegraph at the Miami Bitcoin 2021 conference in June that he sees Bitcoin reaching as high as $160,000 this year. “We haven’t seen the highs yet for 2021,” he said.
Mashinsky believes that the Bitcoin market correction that took place in May was just another step along the path to new heights.
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“When you go too high, too fast, you are bound for a correction,” he said, adding that “You can see my tweets in both March and February saying ‘we’re going to have a crash, we’re going to have a correction.’ I predicted $30,000.”
Mashinsky cited over-leveraged markets as the reason for Bitcoin’s volatility earlier in the year: “Bitcoin is like a spring,” he said. “We stretch it too much and we put too much leverage. Too many people got greedy.”
Rebuilding without leverage?
Indeed, a number of analysts agree that leverage seems to have been the primary cause behind Bitcoin’s volatility earlier this year.
Shortly after the crash in May, CNBC reported that “Traders taking excessive risk in unregulated cryptocurrency markets” were forced to sell when prices started to drop. Therefore, what may have been a minor correction in the price of Bitcoin spiralled into a price drop of roughly 30 percent.”
Leverage is not unique to Bitcoin–it can be practised across capital markets. However, the difference between leverage in Bitcoin and leverage in traditional markets is the fact that it’s so unregulated. Some cryptocurrency exchanges allow their customers to take extreme risks. For example, BitMEX allows any one of its users–no matter their level of trading experience–as much as 100-to-1 leverage for cryptocurrency trades.
When Bitcoin crashed in May, $12 billion was liquidated across 800,000 leveraged Bitcoin positions. Therefore, rebuilding the price of Bitcoin in a sustainable way can not include high amounts of leverage, lest history repeats itself.
A more balanced future for BTC?
Now that leverage has been rinsed from the markets, Bitcoin may indeed have an opportunity to rebuild in a healthier way.
There’s some evidence to show that this growth could come from the developing world.
#Bitcoin has a market cap of $680 billion dollars.
If 1% of it is invested in El Salvador, that would increase our GDP by 25%.
On the other side, #Bitcoin will have 10 million potential new users and the fastest growing way to transfer 6 billion dollars a year in remittances.
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) June 6, 2021
In June, El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, said in a national address that bitcoin will officially become legal tender in the country on September 7th. A second bill proposed in Paraguay would make the country the second to embrace Bitcoin as legal tender. The American University of Paraguay also announced that it will accept bitcoin tuition payments.
Additionally, Tanzanian President Suluhu Hassan told the nation’s financial chiefs to prepare for cryptocurrency: “We have witnessed the emergence of a new journey through the internet,” she declared. “I know that throughout the nation, including Tanzania, they have not accepted or started using these routes. However, my call to the Central Bank is that you should start working on that development.”