Bitcoin bulls and bears battle for control of a key area on the BTC chart, with network fundamentals due new all-time highs.
After closing the weekly candle at just below $27,000, BTC/USD is attempting to cement support as a stubborn trading zone holds.
The stakes are already high, with last week seeing a flash dip below $26,000 and two-month lows for Bitcoin, making traders fearful of a larger bearish breakdown to come.
While this has not materialized, nerves remain on both shorter and longer timeframes.
Where is price action likely headed next? A relatively calm week of macro triggers means less chance of volatility from external sources.
Add to that the upcoming difficulty adjustment taking it to yet another all-time high, and the case could be made for upside continuation.
Cointelegraph looks at some major BTC price factors affecting the week ahead.
Bitcoin price weekly close offers mixed signals
While encouraging, the close nonetheless marked Bitcoin’s weakest since mid-March — something popular trader and analyst Rekt Capital is keenly aware of.
In part of Twitter analysis on the day, he warned that $27,600 was now the level to flip to support.
“First, BTC failed to reclaim the $28800 level on the Weekly (orange). And then $BTC Weekly Closed below $27600, failing to hold it as support (black),” he summarized alongside a chart showing recent weekly-timeframe events.
“Turn $27600 into resistance and this could enable further downside into the low $20000s.”
That perspective reinforces existing warnings from the weekend and adds to a small group of well-known pundits still entertaining the possibility of a significant BTC price retracement.
Continuing, however, Rekt Capital now sounded more upbeat about Bitcoin overall, looking beyond the current correction and its potential target.
“Bitcoin has already broken its Downtrend. Now it’s all about continuing the new Uptrend,” another tweet reasoned.
“Whether a retest is needed or not is the question. But history suggests the mid-term to long-term outlook looks bullish.”
On weekly timeframes, the key trend line looming large thus remains the 200-week moving average (WMA), which at $26,200 has already received its first retest.
Rekt Capital described the retest as “successful” but reiterated the need to reclaim $27,600 next.
“Situation is very dynamic at this time,” he added.
Litecoin leads Bitcoin, altcoin “continuation”
Others gave more credence to the strength of short-timeframe rebound action into the new week.
Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, described BTC/USD as “ready for continuation.”
LTC/USD traded up over 8% in the 24 hours to the time of writing, hitting its highest since May 6.
Likewise preferring the longer-term trend was popular trader Moustache, who considered current weaker price moves as Bitcoin and altcoins taking a “breather.”
“Opinion remains unchanged. Just a breather before things go really crazy,” commentary on a chart of the total crypto market cap read.
“To the bears: I’ll say it once and never again. You cannot compare a monthly chart with a daily chart.”
Trader and analyst Trader Tardigrade, also known as Alan, made similarly bullish forecasts based on Bitcoin’s weekly relative strength index (RSI) readings.
For him, even the weekly close was cause for optimism.
Flood of Fed speakers culminates with Chair Powell
Those seeking some macroeconomic risk asset price triggers may be left out this week, as events in the United States are set for calm.
After several macro data prints the week prior, the event of the coming days is set to come in the form of a speech by Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, on May 19.
As the financial commentary resource The Kobeissi Letter notes, a total of 14 Fed officials are due to deliver commentary in the coming days, with plenty of potential conflicts in store.
Kobeissi added that volatility “should start to return to markets” as a result.
A separate point of interest, meanwhile, comes in the form of U.S. dollar strength. In a market update on May 12, trading firm QCP Capital eyed a return to the downside for the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) as the key event needed for risk assets to get the green light.
“We see USD strength as the main reason capping BTC, which has led to the market’s reflexivity blaming known bearish factors such as the large upcoming supply from the US government and Mt. Gox,” it stated.
DXY saw a week of recovery through May 14, having bounced at 101, near its lowest levels since April last year.
BTC mining difficulty set to resume all-time highs
In a return to what has become classic behavior in 2023, Bitcoin network difficulty is once again due new all-time highs.
After its previous adjustment produced a slight retracement, difficulty is due to increase by around 2% this week, according to estimates from BTC.com.
This will mark the continuation of a difficulty uptrend, which has marked most of the year, with competition for block subsidies among miners firmly in “up only” mode.
The trend has been unaffected by recent short-lived upheaval in fee markets, and as Cointelegraph reported, miner revenues have increased dramatically as a result.
Accompanying estimates for hash rate, depending on the source, likewise show the processing power dedicated to mining at or near all-time highs.
Sentiment flush accompanies market cooling
There is some much-needed relief for those worried about overt “greed” impacting crypto markets, with sentiment having seen a reset in recent days.
After hitting its highest levels since November 2021, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index shows irrational exuberance taking a major hit thanks to the recent cross-asset price come down.
As of May 15, Fear & Greed measures 50/100, exactly midway between its two extremes and characteristic of “neutral” market sentiment.
In coverage on the day, research firm Santiment noted that recent hype around memecoins has also dissipated, with interest returning to stablecoins in a broad cooling of the mood.
“With Bitcoin at $27.4k and #Ethereum at $1,825, traders continue to sour at the fact that markets have been stagnant,” it argued.
“Stablecoins are seeing major social volume upticks, typically indicative of disinterest in the markets Polarizing assets like $HEX & $PEPE have fallen big.”
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.
Source : Cointelegraph.com