8 Signs The Bitcoin Price Bull Market Isn’t Over

Bitcoin (BTC) retraced 5% over the second week in December to $42,236 on Saturday, Dec. 16, from a 19-month high of $44,700 on Dec. 9. The decline in average crypto exchange spot prices for Bitcoin followed an astonishing 62% rally over two months from $27,162 on Oct. 16 to that key resistance around the $44,000 level.

U.S. banking giant J. P. Morgan warned that BTC was overbought in mid-November after Bitcoin price surpassed the $36,000 level. Blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant said this week that BTC corrected after climbing too fast but that the digital asset is still in a bull market, with the bears firmly in the past.

Here are eight signs that Bitcoin’s bull market isn’t over yet.

1. It Keeps Taking an Hour or More to Mine a Block

There are now so many miners plugged into the Bitcoin network to securely process transactions that the core protocol adjusted BTC’s difficulty target to an all-time high of nearly 68 T on Nov. 26.

Just two weeks earlier, on Nov. 7, with Bitcoin’s SHA-256 difficulty set to a then-record high of 62.46, something interesting happened. Bitcoin took 43 minutes to produce a new block.

This happens on average once every 34 days because the difficulty setting calibrates to target ten minutes between blocks as an average result of probabilistic processes.

But then something even more interesting happened…

Right after taking 43 minutes to produce block 815,689, the Bitcoin network took 66 minutes to produce the following one: 815,690. The network is now so thick with miners that the protocol is racing to keep up with all the hash power they’re adding to secure Bitcoin and keep new blocks running on time, around every ten minutes.

2. The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Wants a Bitcoin ETF

It’s a sure sign of the times BTC markets are living through that BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest asset manager (with $9.42 trillion in assets under management), wants to launch a regulated Bitcoin ETF product for its clients. Not long ago, BlackRock didn’t even consider the cryptocurrency legitimate.

It was a different market back in 2018 when BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said the entity wouldn’t offer a cryptocurrency ETF until the industry was “legitimate.” Fast-forward to now, and BlackRock wants on.

In its amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a Bitcoin ETF approval, BlackRock essentially said the industry still isn’t completely legitimate in terms of regulation and transparency but apparently considers the upside rewards worth the risks of offering a Bitcoin ETF to its clients.

3. 70% of Bitcoin Hasn’t Moved in a Year or Longer

Most Bitcoin holders haven’t sold their assets even as Bitcoin posted stunning gains over the past two months, out-performing spot gold, fixed-income bonds, and stock market benchmarks.

As November turned to December, some 83% of all circulating Bitcoin was held at a profit, yet most of the digital asset has remained unmoved in a very bullish showing for the cryptocurrency.

Publicly available blockchain data for Bitcoin show that some 70% of the supply, 13.65 million BTC, has not moved in the past year or longer. That highlights a high rate of long-term holders in the asset class and suggests strong conviction from investors that the bull market won’t be over any time soon.

4. CME Group Has More Futures Volume Than Binance

Futures contracts are market derivative investments that allow speculators to lock in a price for an asset at a future date. If the asset is worth more than the price they locked in, they get to buy it at a discount.

The amount of open interest in Bitcoin futures contracts on the CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange), the world’s leading derivatives marketplace for regulated investors, recently overtook OI on Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange. That was in early November, according to Glassnode data.

It was the first time Bitcoin futures OI at CME topped Binance since the 2021 bull market. CME still leads Binance for BTC futures OI in December, with $4.56 billion worth of contracts (109K BTC) to Binance’s $4.15 billion worth (99K BTC). That shows persistent institutional interest in Bitcoin by regulated investors.

5. Bitcoin Futures Just Flashed A Rare Bullish Signal

Speaking of Bitcoin futures, CME markets for these derivatives flashed another rare bullish signal at the tail-end of November: Contango. That’s the term for when there is a premium gap between the next month or some future month and the “front month” (the contract due to expire next).

According to an asset manager at European digital assets hedge fund CoinShares International, contango has been a rare occurrence in Bitcoin futures markets since 2018. The CoinShares manager said the especially wide premium gap reaching well into the double digits indicates “very bullish sentiment.”

6. Whale-Sized Bitcoin Buys Are Making Waves

#Bitcoin | Whales seem to be buying the #BTC dip. We’re seeing a spike in addresses holding 1,000+ $BTC. pic.twitter.com/TXec7s8a2q

— Ali (@ali_charts) August 24, 2023

Meanwhile, as regulated investors pursue very bullish leveraged bets on Bitcoin futures, mysterious whale buyers purchasing large amounts of the small supply of moving Bitcoin keep showing up in the BTC blockchain data.

The BTC whale address count of wallets, with 1,000 to 10,000 BTC, spiked in August, just a few weeks before the October bull run began. These highly capitalized and well-informed whale entities eagerly bought the dip. One anonymous whale who started accumulating in Jan sits on $100MM in unrealized profits.

By mid-November, after Bitcoin had markedly rallied on positive spot ETF news and in advance of the supply halving next April, the whale transactions in the $100,000 to $1 million range made up 24% of volume. Whale addresses increased 3.8% by Oct. 23, according to CoinGecko data.

7. Bitcoin Price Charts 4-year ‘Flag Channel’ Pattern

Bitcoin technical analysts on X have been pointing out that the asset’s price chart is following the precise pattern of a parabolic price run-up that it has charted in previous 4-year BTC cycles like clockwork.

Popular crypto analyst TechDev pointed out the pattern at the end of November, reminding followers on X that this has been a parabolic Bitcoin price signal in three previous multi-year cycles.

#Bitcoin Parabolic Signal pic.twitter.com/ymSIE5IEvW

— TechDev (@TechDev_52) November 26, 2023

Highlighting the one- to two-year bullish flag, a downward trend channel that concludes in a parabolic bullish breakout, X user BANKRUN joked that anyone short of Bitcoin is really going to hate this rally.

Don’t forget. This will be the moist hated rally. pic.twitter.com/sNheYzz6yC

— BANKRUN (@THE_BANKRUN) December 2, 2023

Bitcoin technical analyst Gert van Lagen also highlighted the bullish flag channel pattern at the start of December, comparing the current chart to two previous parabolic BTC price bull runs.

#Bitcoin has escaped the gravity of this 2.25-year descending channel, after a 3-months struggle to break it.

Exciting times!

BTW: compare channels through green dots, struggle zones and notice the EW-count with W4 being an expanded flat, and W2 a sharp zigzag correction. pic.twitter.com/9vuludJXO9

— Gert van Lagen (@GertvanLagen) December 2, 2023

8. Analysts Are Making Extra Bullish Price Predictions

While it’s impossible to know for sure the future price of any traded asset until markets move, many analysts have been making very bullish predictions since the rally started in October.

Popular Bitcoin technical analyst CryptoCon’s prediction made in November that Bitcoin price could reach $47,000 in December or January aged well through the last two months of 2023.

Social media Bitcoin trader Titan of Crypto in mid-November targeted a $50,000 Bitcoin price by the supply halving in April. British bank Standard Chartered expects $100,000 sometime next year. The VanEck digital assets team concurs. Blockstream CEO Adam Back predicts $700,000 per 1 BTC in 2024 or 2025.

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