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Altseason and $30K in sight: 5 things to watch in Bitcoin as 2020 ends

A Christmas full of cheer for Bitcoin hodlers tops out above $28,000.



Bitcoin (BTC) has had a week like no other, hitting fresh record highs of $28,400 and staying near the top — what’s next.

As markets return to digest a wild Christmas, Cointelegraph presents five factors set to help with Bitcoin price direction this week.

Gold surges as Trump signs stimulus bull

Markets have been spared a nightmare this week after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to sign off on Congress’ $900 billion coronavirus stimulus bill.

Set to add a large amount of debt to the Federal Reserve’s existing mountain, the package includes various benefits for businesses but stops short of providing Americans with the same level of direct financial support seen in March.

Trump had said that the low direct payment amount of the second stimulus — $600 against $1,200 last time — meant that he could not condone it, but subsequently changed his mind.

Markets have thus begun a new week on a positive note, with slight gains seen on S&P 500 futures prior to the Wall St. open.

At the same time, gold has returned in style, with data showing that the precious metal is now on track for its biggest one-year gain in a decade.

Versus the end of November, XAU/USD is up $111 or 6.25%.

XAU/USD daily candle chart. Source: TradingView

“As President @realDonaldTrump vetoed just nine bills, the fewest number since Warren Harding, who served just two years, from 1921-1923,” gold bug and infamous Bitcoin naysayer Peter Schiff tweeted as the bill was signed.

“Not since Chester Arthur (1881-1885) has a president who served a full term vetoed fewer bills. You can’t drain the swamp by making it deeper.”Regulations coming for mainstream Bitcoin

After striking a fresh tone with a wider audience over Christmas with runs to new all-time highs, Bitcoin may soon have to face the music with the establishment, sources warn.

Hitting $28,400 and capping monthly gains of 55%, Bitcoin is now firmly on regulators’ radar as its mainstream appeal heightens. Even for its proponents, the next year may prove to be a challenging time.

With outgoing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leaving his mark with an attempt to force new laws over noncustodial wallets, his replacement, Janet Yellen, may hardly be an improvement, they say.

“Generally, I think we have had challenges with the Dems — they prefer more regulation, more oversight,” Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at digital-asset manager CoinShares, told Bloomberg on Sunday.

“I am a bit worried about the direction things are trending.”

As always in the U.S., the patchwork of political allegiances means that any assault may be tempered by the presence of crypto-friendly figures elsewhere. The new chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elad Roisman, is considered to be a fan.

Bitcoin rebuttal at $28,400 “very healthy” — analyst

Concentrating on the latest Bitcoin spot market action, Monday is shaping up to be a major test for bulls given the momentum seen over the weekend.

After hitting all-time highs of $28,400 on Sunday, Bitcoin saw a pullback which many had already expected.

“#Bitcoin undergoing a very healthy correction as it went quite vertical. Might be the temporary top for now,” Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michaël van de Poppe summarized on social media.

“What’s next? Consolidation, sideways action, less volatility. Giving space to the rest of the markets to pace up. $BTC pairs doing well.”BTC/USD hourly candle chart. Source: TradingView

Van de Poppe is eyeing the potential for altcoins to begin their response to Bitcoin’s recent glories, arguing that signs are already beginning to appear that “altseason” is around the corner.

“After #Bitcoin finishes the run (and it is quite vertical), the money will flow towards large caps. And after that towards mid-caps and small caps,” he continued.

“Altcoins are not dead, the money flow is still the same.”

While floundering against BTC, some popular altcoins are still delivering significant returns in USD terms, with market leader Ether (ETH) trading above $700 for the first time since May 2018. Versus its lows of $113 in March, ETH/USD is now up 530%.

ETH and BTC vs. USD performance YTD. Source: Digital Assets DataRecord Bitcoin futures gap

Bitcoin is contending with the largest “gap” to ever appear on futures markets this week.

Data from CME Group’s futures shows that on Friday, trading ended at around $23,825. Monday began with a wick to lows of $26,500 from opening levels, with the difference ranking as the biggest ever seen in a weekend.

These so-called futures “gaps” refer to the void between Friday and Monday trading sessions, and the BTC/USD spot price has a habit of returning to “fill” them later on.

In recent weeks, however, this trend has weakened, with gaps remaining between $16,900 and $19,500 which have only been partially filled.

This has in turn given rise to theories among analysts — including Cointelegraph’s Van de Poppe — that Bitcoin could still reverse downwards to revisit sub-$20,000 levels just long enough to take care of its unfinished business.

Should that not in fact occur, analysts may instead need to come to terms with the loss of what was once a solid indicator of near-term Bitcoin price trajectory.

CME Bitcoin futures chart showing gap. Source: TradingViewStock-to-flow forecasts the high

On the topic of price trajectory, the latest action puts Bitcoin at odds with one of its best-known and most reliable price models — stock-to-flow.

After rising to hit exactly what the model’s demands last week, the weekend ensured that BTC/USD outperformed, with Sunday’s retracement to the mid $26,000 range ensuring compliance swiftly returned.

As noted by both its creator PlanB and Saifedean Ammous, author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” Bitcoin is overall staying highly faithful to what stock-to-flow requires on an almost daily basis.

“Bitcoin’s price continues to track the predicted value from @100trillionUSD ‘s stock-to-flow model with astonishing precision,” Ammous summarized.

Bitcoin stock-to-flow chart. Source: Digitalik

Going forward, the model’s various incarnations demand price levels of anywhere between $100,000 and $576,000 between now and the end of the current halving cycle in 2024.

Markets have thus begun a new week on a positive note, with slight gains seen on S&P 500 futures prior to the Wall St. open.



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Price analysis 12/30: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, DOT, ADA, BNB, LINK, BSV

Bitcoin price continues to chase after $30,000 but continued rejections below the key level is negatively impacting altcoin prices.



On-chain data suggests that high-net-worth individuals continued to buy Bitcoin (BTC) after Christmas. Analysts at Santiment said that smaller traders sold about $647 million worth of Bitcoin and this sum may have been bought up by Bitcoin whales.

Data also signals that large investors have been buying and holding their purchases throughout 2020, without booking profits in an aggressive manner. According to Glassnode analysts, this has caused the number of Bitcoin in circulation to decline by about 1 million.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

That means, out of the total available supply, 14.5 million Bitcoin are considered illiquid. Glassnode analysts say that this leaves only 4.2 million Bitcoin in constant circulation that are available for trading..

This could further increase the imbalance in the demand and supply equation boosting Bitcoin’s price higher.

However, every bull market goes through periodic corrections and Bitcoin may also be due for one. Therefore, traders should weigh the risks before buying at the current levels.

Let’s analyze the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find the altcoins that may join Bitcoin in the breakout.


Bitcoin had formed a gravestone Doji candlestick pattern on Dec. 27 but the bears could not pull the price down on Dec. 28. The bears again tried to start a correction on Dec. 29 but the hammer candlestick formation suggests strong buying on dips.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls have pushed the BTC/USD pair to a new all-time high at $28,587.67 today. This suggests that the uptrend has resumed. The next level to watch on the upside is the psychological barrier at $30,000.

Although the rising moving averages suggest an advantage to the bulls, the relative strength index (RSI) has risen deep into overbought territory, which suggests that a correction could be around the corner.

Overbought levels at the start of a rally is a sign of accumulation, but after a mature rally, an RSI above 80 suggests buying due to FOMO and this usually leads to a correction. Therefore, traders should remain cautious and protect their paper profits with a suitable stop-loss.

A break below $25,800 could signal the start of a deeper correction to the 20-day exponential moving average ($23,836) and then to the 50-day simple moving average ($20,077).


Ether (ETH) formed an inside day long-legged Doji candlestick pattern on Dec. 29. This suggests that the bears tried to pull the price down but the bulls absorbed all the selling and staged a strong recovery by the end of the day.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls are currently attempting to push the price above $750 but the Doji candlestick pattern suggests indecision among the bulls and the bears.

If this uncertainty resolves to the upside and the ETH/USD pair rises above $750, the uptrend could reach $800 where the bears may again mount a stiff resistance.

The upsloping moving averages and the RSI near the overbought territory suggest that bulls are in control.

However, if the bulls fail to drive the price above $750, the pair could attract profit booking by the short-term traders. If the bears sink the price below $$680, the pair could drop to the 20-day EMA ($645).

A strong rebound off the 20-day EMA will suggest that the sentiment remains bullish and traders are buying on dips. On the other hand, a break below the 20-day EMA may signal the start of a deeper correction.


XRP continues to be in a strong downtrend and every attempt to start a relief rally is facing aggressive selling by the bears. The altcoin dipped to $0.172536 on Dec. 29 but the long tail on the candlestick suggests that bulls are attempting to defend this level.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The relief rally could face stiff resistance at the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $0.358202. If the price turns down from this level, the bears will again try to resume the downtrend. A break below $0.172536 could result in a fall to $0.10.

However, if the bulls defend the $0.169 support, the XRP/USD pair could consolidate in a tight range for a few days before starting the next trending move.


The bulls have managed to keep Litecoin (LTC) above the $124.1278 support for the past few days but the failure to resume the uptrend suggests a lack of demand at higher levels.

LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

When the price fails to rise, it could attract selling by short-term traders and that may pull the price down to the 20-day EMA ($110).

If the LTC/USD pair rebounds off this support, the bulls will again try to resume the uptrend. If they succeed in driving the price above $140, the pair could rally to $160.

However, the RSI has formed a negative divergence, which suggests that the momentum is weakening. A break below the 20-day EMA could drag the price down to $95.40.


Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is struggling to rise above the $370 overhead resistance but the positive thing is that the price has not given up much ground. This suggests that traders are not closing their positions in a hurry.

BCH/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping moving averages and the RSI above 60 suggest that the path of least resistance is to the upside. If the bulls can push and sustain the price above $370, the BCH/USD pair may rise to $430 and then to $500.

This positive view will be negated if the pair drops below the 20-day EMA ($317). Such a move could keep the pair range-bound for a few more days.


Polkadot (DOT) soared above the $5.60 to $6.0857 overhead resistance zone on Dec. 28 and followed it up with another sharp up-move on Dec. 29 that carried the altcoin to $7.70, just above the $7.67 target objective mentioned in the previous analysis.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears are currently attempting to defend the $7.70 level but the long tail on today’s candlestick suggests aggressive buying by the bulls on intraday dips.

If the price does not drop below the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of $6.6428, the DOT/USD pair could resume the uptrend, with the next target at $10.

On the contrary, if the bears pull the price below $6.6428, a drop to $6.3163 and then to $5.9897 is possible. Such a move will suggest that the momentum has weakened and that could keep the pair range-bound for a few days.


Cardano (ADA) broke above the $0.175 to $0.1826315 overhead resistance zone on Dec. 29 but the bulls have not been able to sustain the breakout. The price has dipped back below $0.1826315 today.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive zone suggest that bulls are in control.

If the ADA/USD pair rebounds off the current levels, it will suggest that $0.175 has flipped to support. The bulls will then try to push the price above $0.1966315, which could result in a rally to $0.22 and then to $0.235.

This positive view will invalidate if the price dips and sustains below $0.175. Such a move could result in a drop to the 20-day EMA ($0.161).


Binance Coin (BNB) closed above the $35.69 overhead resistance on Dec. 28 and followed it up with another sharp up-move on Dec. 29 that pushed the price to a new all-time high at $39.99.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The rising moving averages and the RSI in the positive zone suggest that bulls have the upper hand.

The bears are currently attempting to stall the up-move near $40 but if the price does not dip below $35.69, it will increase the possibility of the resumption of the uptrend. If that happens, the BNB/USD pair could rise to $50.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price dips back below $35.69, a drop to the 20-day EMA ($33) is likely.


The bulls could not propel Chainlink (LINK) above the $13.28 overhead resistance on Dec. 27 and the altcoin turned down on Dec. 29. The bears are currently attempting to sink the price below the $11.29 support.

LINK/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If they succeed, the LINK/USD pair could drop to $10 and if this support also gives way, the decline may extend to $8. The downsloping 20-day EMA ($12.24) and the failure of the RSI to sustain above 50 suggests that bears have the upper hand.

This negative view will be invalidated if the pair rebounds off the current levels and rises above the $13.28 resistance. If that happens, it will suggest accumulation at lower levels. The pair could then rally to $16.39.


Bitcoin SV (BSV) has been range-bound between $146 and $181 for the past few weeks. The flat moving averages and the RSI just below the midpoint suggest a balance between supply and demand.

BSV/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

In a well-defined range, traders buy the dips to the support and sell near the resistance. Thus, the BSV/USD pair may rebound off $146 and extend its stay inside the range for a few more days.

The longer the consolidation, the stronger will be the breakout from it. If the pair rises above the moving averages, the bulls will once again try to push the price above $181. If they succeed, a rally to $216 and then to $227 is possible.

Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink the price below $146, the trend will shift in favor of the bears.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.



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Japan’s crypto market matured in 2020, but 2021 may see huge growth

Japan in 2021 may see crypto industry reorganization



In 2020, the Japanese crypto industry seems to have entered its maturation phase. With new crypto laws established in May, large exchanges have solidified their leading positions, while crypto startups and unregulated businesses have exited the market. However, it seems that a winner has not yet been declared. There are already more than 25 registered exchanges in the small nation with a population of over 100 million, but global crypto giants are just starting to enter the market. Some believe a significant industry reorganization is coming through buyouts of licensed exchanges. And with the current bull market expected to continue, we may see a further expansion of crypto companies in Japan in 2021.

One question that must be asked, though, is: Does the industry actually have to show maturity now? With just 12 years having passed since Bitcoin was created, the entire crypto and blockchain industry is still in a nascent stage. Can we, therefore, foresee future development and regulate the industry at all? Regulatory clarity may be an advantage, but leaving it vague for now — whether done intentionally or not — as can be seen in the United States and China may be the right move for innovation.

Revised crypto laws

Japanese legislators amended the nation’s crypto regulations, the Payment Services Act and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, on May 1. The new rules seek to address the vulnerabilities exposed by the hacking of exchanges Coincheck and Zaif in 2018 and BITPoint in 2019. Money laundering is another concern for regulators.

While the new regulations are supposed to show the industry’s maturity in Japan and attract institutional players, to some custodians and wallet service providers they appear to be regulatory overkill due to high compliance costs.

For example, on March 31, a blockchain-based social networking service called Valu announced that it would end its service due to strict regulations for digital-asset custodians. Valu enabled users to trade their “value as individuals” by using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). Therefore, it was managing users’ funds on their behalf. Valu commented: “As the crypto custody service is the core part of VALU, if we can’t maintain it, we have to change the management plan drastically.”

Unregulated exchanges

The new regulations affect crypto exchanges based outside of Japan. In April, BitMex, one of the world’s biggest crypto derivatives exchanges, announced that it would close services for Japanese residents starting May 1. BitMex — at the time headed by Arthur Hayes, its charismatic former CEO — was one of the most popular exchanges for Japanese traders. Now, traders are turning to other derivatives exchanges such as FTX and Bybit.

In October, Binance, another exchange not registered with the Financial Services Agency, ended its strategic partnership with TaoTao, a registered exchange in Japan.

Industry reorganization in 2021?

Meanwhile, industry reorganization is becoming one of the crypto hot topics in Japan. There are more than 25 exchanges registered with the FSA. For some companies, struggling businesses are attractive takeover targets. Tsuneyasu Takeda, CEO of Exchangers — which aims to become the Amazon of the crypto industry — told Cointelegraph Japan that he was negotiating with some of the licensed crypto exchanges for potential partnerships or mergers and acquisitions.

Moreover, global crypto exchanges are entering the Japanese market. Kraken reentered Japan in September for the first time since 2018, and Coinbase is actively recruiting locals. With global crypto exchange giants coming into an already competitive market, the selection process may be further intensified in 2021.

Is Ripple coming to Japan?

Despite their strictness, the clarity of Japan’s crypto laws appears to be an attractive element for some companies outside of the nation. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, mentioned Japan as one of the candidates for relocating Ripple’s headquarters.

Garlinghouse criticized the lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S., saying there are too many definitions of cryptocurrency:

“Crypto is property, crypto is a commodity, crypto is a virtual currency, crypto is a security, etc. Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game.”

He further summarized the reason that the company is considering moving outside the United States:

“The lack of a single national regulatory framework is putting US innovation and US companies at a significant disadvantage. All we’re asking for is a level playing field — if we need to move to another country to get that, then that’s the path we will have to take.”

Lack of new service

When the crypto industry saw the decentralized finance boom in the summer, Japan was left behind. There were no crypto exchanges in Japan that launched DeFi-related services nor that listed DeFi tokens in 2020.

It is not just DeFi — Japanese crypto exchanges struggled with expanding their services in general, with just Coincheck launching a staking service with Lisk in January. Many exchanges started listing new coins in 2020, such as Basic Attention Token (BAT), but the choices are still limited. “I feel like the Japanese crypto exchanges have done nothing for the past few years,” a Japanese crypto lawyer told Cointelegraph Japan.

Retail investors

As Bitcoin broke through its previous all-time high in November, Japanese retail investors gradually started returning to the market. Japanese retail investors are known for being the driving force behind the crypto bubble in 2017. Around the time, Japanese crypto exchanges aggressively advertised themselves on national television commercials.

For example, Coincheck collaborated with Tetsuro Degawa, a popular Japanese comedian, on a commercial to reach those who were unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies. The commercial went viral, and those who started trading Bitcoin after watching it were called Degawa-gumi, or “the Degawa group.” Moreover, Kasoutsuka Shojo, a crypto-themed idol group whose name translates to “Virtual Currency Girsl,” was formed in January 2018. The level of enthusiasm was at its peak.

The bull market of 2020 hasn’t seen as much enthusiasm from the Japanese as in the previous one, yet crypto exchanges revealed to Cointelegraph Japan that they were surely coming back to the market to some extent.

For example, crypto exchange Zaif said its customer service department had received many inquiries since October from users saying: “I tried to log in for the first time for a while but don’t remember my password.” According to Bitbank, the number of customers who opened new accounts quadrupled from the beginning of November to the end of the month. BitFlyer saw its weekly number of newly opened accounts increase threefold in the third week of November compared with the average of September to the middle of October.

Unlike the United States, the Japanese crypto market isn’t yet seeing the inflow of institutional players. It will eventually be seen in 2021 if the maturity of the crypto industry will start finally attracting them.



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Bitcoin price rally cools down as Polkadot gains 34% in first week of ‘altseason’

Bitcoin dominance is likely topping out, Michaël van de Poppe argues, as Bitcoin gives way to strong moves from some top ten altcoins.



Bitcoin dominance is likely topping out, Michaël van de Poppe argues, as Bitcoin gives way to strong moves from some top ten altcoins.

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Bitcoin price rally cools down as Polkadot gains 34% in first week of 'altseason'

Bitcoin (BTC) fell below $26,000 on Dec. 29 as fresh fallout from Ripple’s threatened U.S. lawsuit was felt throughout crypto markets.

Cryptocurrency market overview. Source: Coin360BTC price dips as Coinbase halts XRP trading

Data from Cointelegraph Markets, Coin360 and TradingView showed BTC/USD hitting lows of $25,830 during Tuesday trading.

$27,000 support failed to hold overnight, sparking a retest of lower levels which now center on $26,000. At the weekend, Bitcoin hit all-time highs of $28,400 before swiftly reversing.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

The latest losses come as XRP, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, hits $0.23 thanks to major U.S. exchange Coinbase opting to suspend trading from next month. The reason is a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which threatens to classify XRP as an unlicensed security and make trading it all but impossible.

“There is going to be a rangebound construction, after which 2021 will most likely break out again,” Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michaël van de Poppe summarized about Bitcoin’s short-term perspectives in a video update on Monday.

Analyst braced for altseason

Van de Poppe is eyeing altcoins as next in line to see major gains. XRP notwithstanding, the market is already showing signs of life, with Ether (ETH) climbing above $700 for the first time since May 2018 this week.

Another winner on Tuesday was Polkadot (DOT), now the seventh-largest token by market cap, which saw a 22.5% daily rise, capping weekly performance of nearly 34%.

For Van de Poppe, the next “impulse wave” on Bitcoin in 2021 should take the market to $40,000 or $50,000, but “until then, altcoins will most likely do well.”

Bitcoin dominance historical chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

He additionally pointed to a likely top in Bitcoin market cap dominance, which at almost 70% should soon give way to altcoin presence. December tends to see BTC dominance peaks, with 2017, the time of Bitcoin’s first attempt to crack $20,000, a notable comparison.



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