Bitcoin price delays pre-halving rally as US and China battle for BTC supremacy ahead of halving

  • Bitcoin price topped out at $66,867 on Monday after teasing with a shift in market sentiment.
  • Cryptocurrency markets await halving event in five days, likely the next bullish narrative after US spot BTC ETFs.
  • Hong Kong has approved existence of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, but they won’t launch yet as Dubai conference takes precedence.

Bitcoin (BTC) price has failed to showcase an enticing pre-halving rally. As the event remains less than a week out, traders and investors remain at the edge of their seats, with conflicting thoughts on whether the impact of the fourth cycle will be different than what has been seen before. 

Also Read: Bitcoin ranges below $67,000 as JP Morgan analysts say BTC halving is more than priced in

US and China battle for Bitcoin supremacy ahead of halving

Hong Kong approved the existence of BTC and Ethereum (ETF) spot ETFs on Monday after weekend-long speculation. Reports indicate that there are new BTC ETF ads in the city, with anticipation for launching next week as the Dubai Conference takes precedence.

If it does happen, it would coincide with the halving event, expected on April 20, capable of causing significant impact in the market. Nevertheless, the decision to approve the investment product comes after the landmark approval of the spot BTC ETFs in the US.

While Hong Kong beats the US in approving ETH ETFs, in a move that will attract up to $25 billion in demand from China to be unlocked by Hong Kong ETFs, the significance of the decision in the Asian city is not nearly as significant as it was in the US. Notably, US BTC ETFs now hold more than 800,000 BTC. ETF specialist James Seyffart said:

The US ETF market is almost $9 trillion in assets -- that's trillion with a 'T'. The entire Hong Kong ETF market is ~$50 billion. Mainland China ETFs are ~$325 billion. We're talking literal orders of magnitude differences in size and impact.

Nevertheless, it remains clearly positive for BTC as it opens up more avenues for investments. Seyffart added, “This is not to diminish the potential of these ETFs or the idea that they could potentially become the Asian hub for exposure to digital assets on TradFi rails. But they're unlikely to be anywhere near as impactful as a launch on US exchanges.”

Meanwhile, the countdown to the fourth halving shows only just above four days left with only 642 blocks remaining.

  • In the 2012 halving, the amount of new BTC issued every 10 minutes dropped from 50 to 25.
  • In 2016, it dropped from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC.
  • In the most recent May 11, 2020 halving, the reward dropped from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC per block.
  • In the 2024 halving, the reward will drop from 6.25 BTC per block to 3.125 BTC.

While some anticipate miners shutting down after the halving, it happens that most miners are proactive in pricing in the halving. In so doing, they might escape shutting down any rigs.

Cryptocurrency prices FAQs

Token launches like Arbitrum’s ARB airdrop and Optimism OP influence demand and adoption among market participants. Listings on crypto exchanges deepen the liquidity for an asset and add new participants to an asset’s network. This is typically bullish for a digital asset.

A hack is an event in which an attacker captures a large volume of the asset from a DeFi bridge or hot wallet of an exchange or any other crypto platform via exploits, bugs or other methods. The exploiter then transfers these tokens out of the exchange platforms to ultimately sell or swap the assets for other cryptocurrencies or stablecoins. Such events often involve an en masse panic triggering a sell-off in the affected assets.

Macroeconomic events like the US Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates influence risk assets like Bitcoin, mainly through the direct impact they have on the US Dollar. An increase in interest rate typically negatively influences Bitcoin and altcoin prices, and vice versa. If the US Dollar index declines, risk assets and associated leverage for trading gets cheaper, in turn driving crypto prices higher.

Halvings are typically considered bullish events as they slash the block reward in half for miners, constricting the supply of the asset. At consistent demand if the supply reduces, the asset’s price climbs. This has been observed in Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Bitcoin price outlook as market closes in on BTC halving

The Bitcoin price is trading with a bearish bias on the lower timeframe, nose-diving with multiple technical indicators leaning in favor of the downside.

Both the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) and the Awesome Oscillator (AO) are in negative territory, suggesting the short-term bearish outlook may not be exhausted just yet and that the bearish cycle could continue. This is reinforced by the position of the MACD below the orange band of the signal line.

If Bitcoin price loses support due to the ascending trendline, it could roll over to depths as low as $63,000, or in a dire case, revisit the $60,000 psychological level.

BTC/USDT 15-min chart

On the other hand, if the bulls are able to flip the previous high into support, like they did with the $64,771 support previously as highlighted in purple, then that would be a promising move. Investors should watch for a decisive flip of the $65,860 blockade into support.

A bounce atop this base would inspire more buy orders, sending BTC price to the local top at $66,779 on the 15-minute time frame.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is below the 30 threshold, an oversold sign showing the market is primed for a reversal. This increases the odds for a recovery. In a highly bullish case, Bitcoin price could reclaim the $69,000 threshold, or high, take back the $73,777 all-time high.

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