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  • Bitcoin’s weekly MACD has diverged in favor of the bulls. The indicator carved out a higher low in December, even though bitcoin’s price slipped to $3,100, signaling waning bearish pressures 17 months before the mining reward halving. Bitcoin had witnessed similar MACD divergence 17 months before the previous halving, conducted in September 2016.
  • The bullish MACD divergence indicates the cryptocurrency could be nearing a major bottom or may have carved out one near $3,100 in December. That said, a move above the 21-month exponential moving average (EMA), currently at $5,334, would confirm a long-term bullish reversal.
  • Bitcoin could rise above $4,000 if the inverse head-and-shoulders neckline, currently at $3,735, is breached. A downside break of the wedge pattern seen in the 4-hour chart could yield a re-test of $3,400.

A long-term price indicator validates a growing consensus among investors that bitcoin (BTC) is close to bottoming out.

BTC fell below $6,000 on Nov. 14, dashing hopes of a long-term bullish reversal from that long-held psychological support.

The subsequent sell-off came to a halt near $3,100 in December – 18 months ahead of the mining reward halving – triggering speculation that the cryptocurrency could bottom out in 2019. It is worth noting that BTC had created a long-term bottom in Jan. 2015 before undergoing reward halving in September 2016.

While investors are betting that history would repeat itself, bitcoin’s corrective rally from December lows is struggling to pick up the pace.

That, however, could change in the near future, as the bitcoin’s moving average convergence divergence (MACD) – a momentum indicator based upon moving averages of price is signaling waning bearish pressures.

The MACD usually moves in the direction of the price confirming the trend strength, meaning a lower low on price is accompanied by a lower low on MACD and vice versa.

Bitcoin’s weekly MACD, however, has diverged from the primary bearish trend, i.e. the price hit a lower low near $3,100 in December, while the MACD carved out a higher low. The bullish divergence is widely considered a sign of seller exhaustion and is usually followed by trend reversal.

As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $3,570 on Bitstamp, having hit highs above $3,700 last week.

Weekly chart

On the weekly chart, the MACD has produced a higher low in favor of the bulls. It is worth noting that a similar bullish divergence was charted over the five months leading up to January 2015, when BTC bottomed out near $150.

So, there is a reason to believe the cryptocurrency is nearing a major bottom or may have carved out one near $3,100 in December.

As a result, the probability of BTC witnessing a bullish reversal in the next few months is high. A convincing move above the 21-month exponential moving average (EMA) – a level which acted as strong support last year – would confirm a long-term bearish-to-bullish trend change. As of writing, that average is located at $5,334.

Meanwhile, the prospects of a short-term rally to $4,000 would improve if BTC clears the resistance at $3,735.

4-hour chart

BTC has carved out a falling wedge pattern – a bullish continuation pattern – on the 4-hour chart. A move above $3,585 would confirm a wedge breakout and could yield a rally to $3,735, which is the neckline of the inverse head-and-shoulders bullish reversal pattern. A violation there would open up upside toward $4,100 (target as per the measured move method).

A wedge breakdown, however, would weaken the bullish case put forward by last Friday’s high-volume bullish breakout and shift risk in favor of a drop to $3,400.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View



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