Bitcoin investors nowadays cannot seem to catch a proper break. Just when the digital coin was looking to break through a key resistance level, here comes a wad of bad news, and the bulls finds themselves back in the doldrums.
Despite the latest bearish sentiment, cryptocurrency owners have enjoyed their best month this year. Specifically, cryptocurrency hedge funds saw a nearly 84-percent gain in April, the first time this year returns were in the green.
Unfortunately for Main Street investors, there are still no cryptocurrency ETFs.
Eurekahedge Crypto-Currency Hedge Fund Index Monthly Returns
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Bitcoin Alternatives Shine
After enduring a torrid first quarter, cryptos kicked off the second quarter in high gear. April proved to be the best monthly performance not only this year but also since November 2013, helped along by a strong showing by the largest coins. Bitcoin was up an impressive 35 percent in the month, but was outshone by Bitcoin alternatives including Ether which climbed 69.4 percent, Ripple rallied 67 percent, while Bitcoin Cash, the fourth largest digital coin by market cap, gained 101 percent.
MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, a cryptocurrency index that tracks the 10 largest digital assets by market cap, finished the month with a cool 68-percent return.
The rest of the coins were no sluggards either, with the entire market finishing 76.3 percent higher compared to the prior 30-day period.
As is usually the case with cryptos, experts have advanced several reasons for the robust performance, including the usual suspects such as tax selling pressure and the China factor.
U.S. taxes were due on April 17, and Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors had correctly predicted that Bitcoin and other cryptos would rally after tax season was gone. The IRA counts cryptos as taxable assets that are subject to capital gains tax. Investors tend to offload their digital assets, including tokens, before the taxman comes knocking.
The China factor was rife once again, but not in the way we are used to. Turns out the Chinese have found a clever way to keep prying eyes by the establishment at bay--by hiding info on the crypto blockchain. Recalcitrant Chinese students protesting against sexual harassment at the workplace have been placing messages of the nascent #MeToo movement on the Ethereum blockchain to hide it from Government censorship.
Selling Pressure Could Reverse Gains
But the latest round of selling pressure could end up reversing those gains. Bitcoin tends to act as a pacesetter for the rest of the cryptocurrency universe, and so far, the leading coin is showing worrying signs of weakness. Bitcoin is down nearly 10 percent since the beginning of May, with the rest of the market falling by a similar margin.
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Bitcoin is currently trading at three-week lows after failing to test 9k several times. The latest selloff came after reports that UPbit, South Korea’s biggest crypto exchange, had been raided. Bitcoin price has broken below its ascending channel support signaling a downtrend. Since then, the price has pulled back to the broken support.
Sustained selling pressure has pushed the price to the next Fibonacci level of 78.6 percent ($8,580) where it seems to be holding serve.
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Upcoming events such as the Blockchain Week in New York might bring a reprieve and allow the market to rebound.
Regarding the long-term trajectory, well that depends on who you ask.
Fundstrat sees Bitcoin at $64,000 by next year while the Winklevoss Twins, owners of the Gemini exchange, have declared that anyone who doesn't see Bitcoin eventually hitting $320k lacks imagination.
By Alex Kimani for Safehaven.com
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