Bitcoin’s (BTC) volatility remained subdued in the final few days of the last year, indicating that investors were in no hurry to enter the markets.
Bitcoin ended 2022 near $16,500, and the first day of the new year also failed to ignite the markets. This suggests that traders remain cautious and on the lookout for a catalyst to start the next trending move.
Several analysts remain bearish about Bitcoin’s near-term price action. David Marcus, CEO and founder of Bitcoin firm Lightspark, said in a blog post released on Dec. 30 that he does not see the crypto winter ending in 2023 and not even in 2024. He expects that it will take time to rebuild consumer trust but believes the current reset may be good for legitimate firms over the long term.
Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360
The bearish calls are an indication that the sentiment remains negative, but there is also a silver lining to it. Usually, bear markets end after the last bull has turned bearish. With no more sellers left, the price action stabilizes and new buyers enter the market. That usually causes a reversal and starts a new up-move.
While Bitcoin remains range-bound, select altcoins are showing signs of strength. Let’s look at the charts and spot the important levels to keep an eye on.
The failure of the bulls to push Bitcoin above the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) of $16,778 has strengthened the bears further who are trying to sink the price below the immediate support at $16,256.
BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The 20-day EMA is gradually sloping down and the relative strength index (RSI) is near 43, indicating a minor advantage to sellers. If bears sink the price below $16,256, the BTC/Tether (USDT) pair could drop to $16,000 and thereafter to the vital support at $15,476. A break below this support could signal the resumption of the downtrend.
This negative view will be invalidated in the near term if buyers thrust the price above $17,100. Such a move will indicate aggressive buying on dips. The pair could then pick up momentum and make a dash toward $18,388. Sellers are again expected to mount a strong defense at this level.
BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
The pair has been stuck between $16,256 and $17,061 for some time. The bounce off the support is facing selling near the moving averages. This suggests that bears continue to sell on rallies.
However, a minor positive is that the bulls have not given up much ground and the pair remains near the 20-EMA. This increases the likelihood of a break above the moving averages. If that happens, the pair could rise to $16,800 and then $17,061.
On the downside, bears will have to pull the price below the immediate support of $16,429 to set up a retest of $16,256.
Several major cryptocurrencies are still searching for a bottom but Litecoin (LTC) is way above its June low. This indicates strong demand at lower levels.
LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The 20-day EMA of $69 has flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, suggesting a balance between supply and demand.
The advantage will tilt in favor of the buyers if they push and sustain the price above the moving averages. The LTC/USDT pair could then climb to the overhead resistance at $75. This is an important level to watch out for in the near term because a break above it could open the doors for a rally to $85.
Contrarily, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the 20-day EMA, the pair could slide to $65.
LTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
The moving averages on the 4-hour chart are moving up slowly and the RSI is in the positive territory, signaling that bulls have the upper hand. There is a minor resistance at $72, but if this level is crossed, the up-move could reach $75.
Sellers are likely to mount a strong defense in the $72 to $75 zone, but if bulls bulldoze their way through, the rally could accelerate and reach $80. On the downside, a break below $65 could open the doors for a decline to $61.
ApeCoin (APE) has been trading inside a large range between $3 and $7.80 for the past several months. The moving averages have flattened out, and the RSI is near the midpoint, indicating that the selling pressure could be reducing.
APE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The bears have not allowed the price to rise above the moving averages, but an encouraging sign is that the bulls have maintained the buying pressure and not let the price slip. This increases the possibility of a break above the moving averages. If that happens, the APE/USDT pair could ascend to $4.58 and thereafter to $5.25.
Alternatively, if the bears do not allow the price to pierce the overhead resistance, the pair could again slump to the vital support at $3. A slide below the $3 to $2.61 support zone could indicate the start of the next leg down.
APE/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
The pair has formed a symmetrical triangle on the 4-hour chart. This indicates indecision between the bulls and the bears. Although the moving averages are flattish, the RSI has risen into the positive zone, indicating that bulls have a slight edge. If buyers clear the minor hurdle at $3.71, the pair could rise to the resistance line of the triangle.
Conversely, if the price turns down and breaks below the uptrend line, it will suggest that the bears are back in the game. The pair could then tumble to $3.20 and later to the important support at $3.
Related: Rewind 2022: A crypto roundup of the year and stepping into 2023
Internet Computer (ICP) continues to trade below the breakdown level of $4.61, but the RSI is forming a positive divergence, indicating that the selling pressure could be reducing.
ICP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
Buyers propelled the price above the downtrend line on Dec. 30, but the bulls could not sustain the breakout. The bulls again tried to overcome the barrier on Jan. 1, but the long wick on the candlestick shows that bears are selling on intraday rallies.
If the price slips and sustains below the 20-day EMA of $3.91, the bears will try to pull the price to $3.60 and then to $3.40.
On the contrary, if the price rebounds off the moving averages, the bulls will again try to drive the price above $4.21. If they can pull it off, the ICP/USDT pair could soar to $4.61, where the bears may try to stall the recovery.
ICP/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
The bulls have managed to defend the 50-SMA but they have failed to sustain the price above the 20-EMA. This indicates that bears are active at higher levels. If the price turns down and plummets below $3.90, the pair could drop to $3.76 and then $3.60.
Alternatively, if bulls pierce the overhead resistance zone of $4.10 to $4.21, the momentum could pick up and the pair could surge to $4.46. This level may behave as a minor hindrance but it is likely to be crossed. The pair could then reach $4.61.
BitDAO (BIT) has been consolidating between $0.25 and $0.35 for the past few days but the price action is showing signs of a possible breakout.
BIT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The moving averages have completed a bullish crossover, indicating a potential trend change. If buyers catapult the price above $0.35, the BIT/USDT pair could start a new uptrend. The pair could then attempt a rally to the target objective at $0.45.
On the other hand, if the price turns down from $0.35, it will suggest that bears are guarding this level with vigor. The price could then dip to the 20-day EMA of $0.30.
If the price rebounds from this level, it will suggest that the sentiment may have shifted from selling on rallies to buying on dips. That could enhance the prospects of a break above $0.35.
The bears will have to yank the price below the moving averages to invalidate the bullish view. The pair could then remain stuck inside the range for a while longer.
BIT/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
The price turned down sharply from the overhead resistance at $0.35 but the bulls are trying to arrest the pullback at the 20-EMA. If the price rebounds off the 20-EMA with strength, it will suggest aggressive buying on dips. The pair could then scale the overhead resistance and start its northward march to $0.40 and then $0.42.
Instead, if the price turns down and breaks below the 20-EMA, several short-term bulls may book profits. That could pull the price to the 50-SMA. Such a move will suggest that the pair may spend some more time inside the range.
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.