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bitcoin (BTC) starts the week before Christmas with a whimper as a tight trading range gives BTC bulls little joy.

A weekly close just above $16,700 means BTC/USD remains without major volatility in a lack of overall market direction.

After seeing erratic trading behavior around the latest US macro data, the pair has since returned to an all-too-familiar status quo. What could change it?

That’s the question on every analyst’s lips as markets approach Christmas with little to offer.

Reality is tough for the average Bitcoin hodler – BTC is trading below where it was two and even five years ago. “FUD” is not uncommon thanks to FTX fallout and Binance concerns.

At the same time, there are signs that miners recoverwhile the on-chain indicators signal that the time has come for a classic macro price bottom.

Will Bitcoin disappoint further into the new year, or will the bulls get the Santa Claus rally they so desperately need? Cointelegraph takes a look at the factors driving the upcoming BTC price action.

BTC spot price: “Surrender” or “slow grind?”

Closing the week at just under $16,750, Bitcoin escaped with no further volatility on December 1. 18.

Even what accompanied US inflation data and comments from the Federal Reserve was short-lived, and BTC/USD has since returned to an arguably frustrating status quo.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView proves the point – since the FTX scandal broke in early November, Bitcoin has seen virtually no noticeable price movement.

BTC/USD 1 week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Trading View

For market commentators, then, the question is what it will take for things to take a different turn, up or down.

ogle Fibonacci retracement levels on the weekly chart, Stockmoney analysis resource Lizards ventured that BTC/USD was at “key support”.

If the area around $16,800 starts to disappear, the next one is around $12,500.

Another chart from the weekend compared with what he called the “last washes” for Bitcoin in past bear markets. This reinforced the idea that BTC/USD may be almost done “copying” previous macro bottom structures.

BTC/USD chart comparison. Source: Stockmoney Lizards/Twitter

Others think the worst is yet to come for the current cycle. Among them is popular Crypto trader and analyst Tony, who is among those targeting a weak potentially around $10,000.

“So in 2023, I expect BTC to start forming a bottoming pattern at the lower bounds of the range we currently find ourselves in, as well as volume support around $11,000 at 9,000. $”, he reiterated in a Twitter feed This weekend.

“Whether we capitulate or try slowly is to be seen.

He added that the “accumulation phase” following the mass capitulation would not continue until 2023, as Bitcoin prepares for its next block subsidy halving event.

New US data expected as analysis predicts fall in risky assets

After last week drama thanks to inflation data and the Fed, it’s safe to say that the coming week will provide a little less pressure for Bitcoiners.

That said, US gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the third quarter is expected and should turn positive after the second quarter saw a 0.9% contraction.

This is significant, as with the Q2 print, the United States technically fell into recessiondespite the best efforts of politicians to deny that the financial situation was as dire as the data suggested.

As market investor Ajay Bagga notes, however, too big a reversal in GDP would give the Fed license to pursue aggressive interest rate hikes to tame inflation – which is not welcome. for risky assets in all areas, including crypto.

“The Atlanta Fed’s US GDPNow model estimate for real US GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2022 is 3.2% on December 9, down from 3.4% on December 6,” did he declare. wrote in an update last week.

“Very good reading of US GDP from a mostly accurate estimator. The Fed will go up and keep going up.

Beyond GDP, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index is also due, a measure the Fed watches carefully when factoring in policy shifts.

In one market update the dec. 17, trading company QCP Capital also drew attention to the impact of the PCE.

“Thanks to the Fed, whatever we trade now, we only trade impressions of inflation (and wages),” he summed up.

QCP had a word of warning for the risky asset markets nonetheless, with this coming in the form of a leg down for everyone, including crypto, in the near future.

“As of this writing, this Q4 rally has set up the perfect 4th wave, with a final weaker 5th wave for all markets – S&P/Nasdaq, 2yr/10yr, USD and BTC/ETH,” a- he declared.

Annotated chart of NASDAQ 100 futures. Source: QCP Capital

Crypto Tony shared that sentiment, predicting what he called an “impulse bottom” in stock indices ahead of a rebound.

“I was looking for a push up to create a double top around 4320, but we didn’t get there and gave up before,” reads its analysis of the S&P 500 performance.

“Same image here where I’m looking for another low pulse to complement the WXY pattern I see.”

S&P 500 annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/Twitter

Binance CEO calls out ‘FUD’ as foul play allegations continue

Where FTX started, Binance now follows.

That’s the prevailing impression from a crypto media sweep earlier this week, with Binance firmly on the radar as it battles what CEO Changpeng Zhao has called several times “FUD” (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

The world’s largest crypto exchange by volume has been met with a backlash from media and users in recent weeks as its attempts to prove its reserves fall short.

Like Cointelegraph reportedAmong the latest events, Binance’s auditor deleted its glowing findings on the exchange’s financial promises.

A Reuters report that Binance publicly pushed back has meanwhile given way to a host of other apprehensions, including a blog post alleging suspicious activity between Binance and its US counterpart, Binance.US.

“These results are fully consistent with previous reports from Forbes and Reuters indicating that Binance.US was a clever trick designed to mislead regulators and customers,” concludes the blog post from an entity calling itself Dirty Bubble Media.

“However, with the collapse of FTX, everyone is watching the crypto industry more closely. We doubt Binance’s regulatory Tai Chi will allow them to escape the long arm of the law any longer.

Zhao, meanwhile, continues to give no time for any form of accusations on December 21. 17 reiterating his “FUD” point of view. He then retweeted comments by Ryan Selkis, founder of analytics platform Messari, in which he said there was a xenophobic element to Binance’s criticisms.

“A lot of Binance FUD is just thinly veiled xenophobia,” Selkis said. wrote on two tweets.

“I’m all for the stress test on deposits and think it’s bad that such a high percentage of volume goes through one exchange. I also don’t like the tone of some critics. Sorry! “

Nonetheless, Binance remains one of the top potential BTC price triggers, as Cointelegraph puts it. Noted Last week.

Miners dominate the competition

After its biggest drop in nearly 18 months, Bitcoin’s network difficulty is expected to start rising again this week.

According to the estimates of BTC.comthe next bi-weekly difficulty readjustment will see an increase of approximately 3.8%.

Overview of the fundamentals of the Bitcoin network (screenshot). Source: BTC.com

This has implications for miners, who have seen considerable upheaval in the weeks following the collapse of FTX, which sent BTC/USD down as much as 25%.

With compressed benefits, concerns began to appear that the miners were due for another major surrender event and would be retiring en masse.

Like Cointelegraph recently reportedhowever, not everyone agrees – the latest interpretations of the data have led to the conclusion that the majority of acclimatization has already taken place.

With difficulties due to the ascent, this theory remains a valid observation, because the increasing difficulty implies stronger competition between miners, rather than a setback.

Data from an on-chain analytics company glass knot further shows the 30-day decline in miners’ BTC holdings, retracing as the selloff cools.

Bitcoin miners 30-day net position change chart. Source: Glassnode

Analyzing the overall share of miners in BTC supply, journalist Colin Wu argued that their position is not necessarily significant.

“Bitcoin miners are estimated to currently hold a maximum of 820,000 Bitcoin, a minimum of 120,000 Bitcoin, only 1%-4% of Bitcoin circulation, even though listed mining companies sell production in June this year 350%, the impact also weakened,” Wu tweeted during the weekend.

Table of estimated BTC holdings of Bitcoin miners. Source: Colin Wu/Twitter

Sentiment set to fall to 2022 lows

It’s no secret that cold feet are the name of the game when it comes to crypto sentiment this quarter.

Related: Bitcoin still lacks that on-chain signal for the BTC bull market – David Puell

Thanks to FTX and now Binance, there is a distinct sense of doom looming over social media, and the price action on crypto assets has yet to paint a different picture.

That said, the Crypto Fear and Greed Index performs significantly better than expected, still hovering above its lowest “extreme greed” bracket.

At 29/100, we can even say that the index is somewhat out of step with the atmosphere.

For Crypto Tony, however, this will be short-lived, with the index returning to this year’s low of just 6/100 in 2023.

“When we are in extreme fear, it is considered a good buy zone. If we are in extreme greed, it is a sell zone. Basing on human psychology,” explained part of the comments.

“In June we hit 6‼️ I expect we’ll be back next year.”

Fear & Greed came out of “extreme fear” in late November and has yet to return, peaking at 31 on December 13. 15 – his best performance since 15 Nov 8.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index (screenshot). Source: Alternative.me

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.