• Bitcoin price sees its gains being pared back a bit after more talks on regulatory crackdown out of U.S. on cryptocurrencies. 
  • Ethereum price slips further away from $3,018 after Powell's speech before Congress talked about regulating cryptocurrencies. 
  • XRP price sideways, awaiting a catalyst to go either way.

Cryptocurrencies are facing some headwinds – whilst they have enjoyed  more inflows of late as both Ukrainian and Russian inhabitants reverted to cryptocurrencies as an alternative means of payment to avoid sanctions – there are signs this loophole will soon be closed. During Biden's State of the Union speech the president asked for a crackdown on cryptocurrencies to close the escape route for wealthy Russians. FED chair Powell added fuel to the fire by saying that he would welcome further regulation to monitor and control cryptocurrencies better. The result is that these comments have triggered some nervousness in all significant cryptocurrency pairs.

Bitcoin bulls are rejected at $44,088 with the risk of sliding back to $42,000

Bitcoin (BTC) price saw a full paring back of the losses accumulated during the Russian invasion as cryptocurrencies saw renewed cash inflow from both Russians and Ukrainians looking for alternative means of payment after both central banks had put in cash withdrawal restrictions. As Bitcoin looked to be poised for another leg higher, both Biden and Powell created some headwinds by urging for more regulatory crackdown, as it is emerging that cryptocurrencies are undermining sanctions on Russia. With this renewed negative attention towards cryptocurrencies, investors are being quick to book profits and, in the process, are pushing BTC price action to the downside. 

BTC price saw an initial rejection at $45,261, a level which coincides with the low of December 17, and as such triggered some profit-taking. As profit-taking continues bulls are faced with another rejection at $44,088, a level that goes back to August 06. Below that,  the search for support finds nothing until $41,756 or the psychological $42,000 level near the baseline of a bearish triangle we had marked up earlier.

BTC/USD daily chart

BTC/USD daily chart

As more talks are underway, a breakthrough could still happen at any moment. If that happened, it would mean that bears would fail in their attempt to squeeze out bulls and get stopped out themselves once the price pierced through $44,088 to the upside. That move would even accelerate after shooting through $45,261, with a quick rally to $48,760 and, from there, positioning Bitcoin to pop back above $50,000 next week.

 

Ethereum bulls are defending the 55-day SMA, but support is wearing thin

Ethereum (ETH) price takes another step back today after more negative connotations from FED Chair Powell in the house hearing before Congress. Next to committing to more rate hikes, Powell also drilled down on cryptocurrencies and called them a risk that needs to be prioritised with regulations. That puts greater regulation for cryptocurrencies at the top of the congressional agenda – after Ukraine, and inland inflation had pushed that bullet point further down the list. 

For the moment, ETH sees bulls defending the 55-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) at $2,880. Although it looks good to hold for now, in the past, the 55-day SMA has not built a solid reputation of being well respected. So expect a possible breach once the US session kicks in and Powell makes more negative comments on cryptocurrencies in his second day of congressional hearings, which will likely push ETH price below the 55-day SMA at $2,880, through the monthly pivot at $2,835, and down to a possible endpoint at around $2,695.

ETH/USD daily chart

ETH/USD daily chart

As the situation in Russia further deteriorates with more sanctions on the shelf, residents will be forced even more to flee into cryptocurrencies to avoid any repercussions from the financial sanctions imposed. That would mean broad flux inflow throughout the coming days, with ETH price action popping above $3,018, and in the process breaking the double top of rejection from Tuesday and Wednesday. To the upside, that could see $3,391 for a test as the inflow will outweigh any bearish attempts from short sellers.

 

XRP price testing monthly pivot to the downside as dollar strength weighs

Ripple's (XRP) price is under pressure to the downside as bears are putting in their effort to break the new monthly pivot at $0.76. Bears are getting help from the other side of the asset pair by the dollar’s strength weighing on price action for a second consecutive day. With Ukraine's current tension and possible retaliation from Russia against the West, safe havens are broadly bid with the Greenback on the front foot and thus outpacing XRP’s valuation, resulting in a move lower. 

Expect XRP price to see an accelerated move once the monthly pivot at $0.76 gives way. With not much in the way, the road is open to drop to $0.62, with $0.70 and $0.68 as possible breaking off points where bears could see some profit-taking and attempts by bulls to halt the downturn. But the trifecta of the negative comments from both Biden and Powell joined with the safe-haven bid is too big of a force to withstand, making $0.62 almost inevitable in the coming hours or trading days.

XRP/USD daily chart

XRP/USD daily chart

The only event that could turn this around is if a catalyst were to remove the safe-haven bid. That could come with a resolution of the current tension in Ukraine or surrender of the Russian army of some sort. In such an outcome, the safe-haven bid would evaporate, followed by a massive risk-on flow which would see XRP pop above $0.78 and rally to $0.88, taking out $0.84 along the way to the upside.

 

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