Bitcoin (BTC) and its major peers notched another leg higher this week, offering further confirmation that the market was in a virtuous cycle that could stretch on for many months. The cryptocurrency market capitalization failed to achieve new highs this week but price action for individual coins points to further gains ahead.
Bitcoin’s Dominant Trend Strengthens
Bitcoin, the largest and most influential cryptocurrency, is once again eyeing yearly highs after gaining nearly 4% during the week. The BTC price clawed above $5,300 on Bitfinex on at least two occasions, setting the stage for a continuation of the rally that began in February.
As Hacked reported last weekend, bitcoin’s next four-year cycle is already well under way. For investors, this means the start of a new dominant market trend. It also means that BTC has likely already bottomed.
A further analysis of monthly price action suggests bitcoin’s dominant trends typically last from five-to-six months. After two consecutive monthly gains, bitcoin could be on track to continue higher through the spring season and into summer.
Binance Coin’s Renewed Ascendancy
The rapid ascendancy of Binance Coin (BNB) continued this week, as investors continued to rally behind the world’s most liquid cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past seven days, BNB’s value has rocketed higher by 31%, including an 11% rally on Friday.
BNB is now valued at $23.45, a new all-time high and having virtually quadrupled since the start of January. In terms of market capitalization, Binance Coin is valued at $3.3 billion at the time of writing.
Binance has made several high-profile announcements recently, including setting the date on its highly anticipated decentralized exchange. The Binance DEX is set for launch on April 23, according to an official tweet.
.@Binance Chain launches its mainnet and plans to execute Mainnet Swap on Apr 23, 2019.
— Binance DEX (@Binance_DEX) April 18, 2019
Investors are also excited about the launch of Binance’s fiat-to-crypto exchange later this month. Initially, the platform will be restricted to Singapore only. Fiat-to-crypto platforms like Coinbase have proven to be extremely popular with retail investors.
The end of crypto winter has been a boon to some of the small-cap altcoins, which have strung together stellar gains in recent months. Tezos (XTZ) was this week’s top small-cap performer, gaining a whopping 42%.
The platform for smart contracts and decentralized applications is currently trading at $1.36, its highest since last summer. XTZ has gained nearly 200% since the start of the year. Also read Tezos: The Surge Continues. Should You Buy XTZ?
Basic Attention Token (BAT) was another top performer this week, gaining more than 30% to $0.3666. BAT has received support from its Coinbase Pro listing as well as the platform’s earning program, which allows users to collect BAT for completing lesson plans.
Bakkt Faces Further Delay
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is facing strong resistance from securities regulators over the planned launch of Bakkt, an ambitious cryptocurrency project aiming to bring bitcoin to the masses.
An initial rollout of physically-backed bitcoin futures has been delayed for months amid resistance from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). As Bloomberg notes, federal regulators have taken issue with Bakkt’s proposed custody framework. In response to these concerns, ICE is weighing the possibility of obtaining a license from New York financial regulators, which would allow the new crypto platform to hold and store investors’ tokens.
ICE has already raised $740 million for its Bakkt initiative. That figure is more than four times bigger than what was originally reported. Clearly, investors expect big things from the institutional bitcoin platform. In addition to launching a regulated bitcoin market, Bakkt aims to facilitate retail transactions by allowing businesses to convert BTC into dollars. To that end, the company has already partnered with Starbucks and Microsoft, among others.
The Week Ahead
With crypto markets teetering on new yearly highs, the path of least resistance is still northbound. Based on our current trend analysis, it’s clear that bitcoin is in a dominant uptrend that could continue for at least another two-to-three months. Bitcoin is also enjoying renewed stability, a sign that the market has carved out a new support base for the virtual currency.
The market for altcoins and tokens has also followed in bitcoin’s general direction with a few notable exceptions. Altcoins like BNB, EOS and the small caps mentioned above continue to trade independently of BTC. These coins should be eyed for further upside potential.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.