01/04 Market Recap: Bitcoin Stalls at $70K as BCH Soars Ahead of Halving


Bitcoin’s price had a relatively quiet weekend, trading in a tight range between $70,000 and $71,000 before being rejected at the $71,000 level earlier today. The cryptocurrency has since dropped back below $70,000 as it struggles to overcome the $69,000 resistance level that coincides with its previous all-time high from 2021.

Despite Bitcoin’s stagnation, its 2018 hard fork Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has defied the market sentiment, surging 37% over the past week and 13% in the last 24 hours alone. This rally is likely driven by the anticipation surrounding BCH’s upcoming second halving event, estimated to occur tomorrow.

While most major altcoins are in the red on the daily scale, with declines between 3-7% for ETH, BNB, XRP, DOGE, ADA, AVAX, DOT, LINK, SHIB and UNI, a few like APT, ICP, TON and LTC have posted modest gains.

The overall crypto market has shed about $40 billion overnight, with the total market cap down to around $2.76 trillion. Bitcoin’s market dominance remains steady at 49.5%.

As the new quarter kicks off, all eyes are on Bitcoin’s highly anticipated halving event expected around April 20th. This event is keeping options volatility high, with implied volatility of front-month options above 75% and perpetual futures funding rates inflated between 6-8 basis points across major exchanges.

Bitcoin itself made history on March 31st by clinching the highest ever weekly, monthly and quarterly close just below $70,300. However, it has faced a predictable retracement since, with local lows around $68,900 in the hours after the record close.

The $69,000 level remains a key resistance, with Bitcoin needing a push above $74,000 to enter price discovery mode and knock out the bulk of remaining sell-side liquidity left over from the 2021 top.

Seasoned hodlers have been taking some profits at these elevated levels, countering the influx of institutional capital from the newly launched spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

With macroeconomic factors like the upcoming U.S. nonfarm payrolls data and commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell also in play, Bitcoin could be setting up for a volatile move as the new quarter progresses.