Sideways Markets Not a New Thing for Bitcoin: An Overview of Bitcoin Consolidations

Source: iStock/Bicho_raro

Bitcoin (BTC) trading sideways may be boring for those trying to profit from the price swings, but it is far from a new thing for the original cryptocurrency to do (relatively) nothing.

If there is one thing all traders need to make money, it’s volatility. And bitcoin traders are no different from traditional traders here. In fact, it could be argued that they rely on strong volatility even more due to the more volatile nature of digital assets compared to traditional assets like stocks and fiat currencies.

As a result, bitcoin’s volatility – or lack thereof – has again become a concern for some with the number one cryptocurrency now on its third week in a consolidation zone that measures less than 10% from bottom to top.

The latest round of sideways price action started on May 10th, when the BTC chart had just printed its 7th weekly red candle – then, the biggest number of weekly red candles bitcoin’s history.

As usual in markets, volatile periods end with consolidation phases, which in turn typically end with a new round of volatility. As such, it is perhaps no surprise that bitcoin has now stayed within a relatively narrow range for some time.

Similarly, BTC was also famously stable in October and November of 2018, towards the end of the infamous 2018 bitcoin bear market. Those who were around at the time may even remember how crypto traders were jokingly referring to BTC as the new “stablecoin.”

Source: Lark Davis / Twitter

As the above meme suggests, however, the remarkable stability ended in a brutal fashion on November 14, when the final flush-out of the bear market sent BTC from around USD 6,400 to just USD 3,200 over the course of 30 days.

Bitcoin consolidation between September and November 2018:

Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s most recent consolidation phases

Keeping in mind the brutal way in which the consolidation in September, October, and November 2018 ended for BTC, let’s now take a look at the 5 most recent bitcoin consolidations to see what lessons they can teach us.

During the current consolidation phase, all of bitcoin’s daily candles have closed in the range between USD 28,700 and USD 31,300, with this phase so far lasting for more than two weeks. This consolidation has yet to end, and we, therefore, do not know if the break-out will come to the upside or the downside.