I first wrote about bitcoin back in January.

At the time, its price had dipped to about $30,000. And, I told my readers I’d consider buying some at that price.

Since then, bitcoin’s doubled… Rising as high as $64,941 earlier this week and setting a new record high.

Today, I want to explain why a larger pullback could be imminent…

First, let’s take a look at the trend…

The biggest trends create charts that are easy to analyze. Because bitcoin’s in a big bull market, its trend is simpler to keep track of than most.

You can see that the price chops back and forth in brief ranges each time before rising higher. That’s a common feature of bullish trends. The ranges tend to be one above another. It makes them look like a staircase.

That’s exactly what bitcoin’s trend looked like until March 13. Once the price broke out of the range, it jumped higher and kept going. That consistent rhythm of ranging before making big breakouts was the hallmark of the trend.

But, the price dropped back down on March 15. That was the first time a breakout had failed in a year.

Failed breakouts are usually a signal that buying power is losing momentum. However, the price quickly pulled back to $50,000 and bounced. It also resulted in the price going sideways until Monday.

At the time of writing, this new breakout is holding. As long as the break above $60,000 holds, the benefit of the doubt can now be given to the uptrend.

That means we can attribute the failed break in March to a pause for when the market cap of bitcoin first hit $1 trillion.

So, What’s Next?

With Coinbase’s IPO out of the way, investors are now looking forward to the first bitcoin ETF being approved by the SEC. If a bitcoin ETF is allowed, that will open up the cryptocurrency sector to a much broader group of investors. So, it’s reasonable for the market to begin pricing in that possibility now.

Now, what could signal the end of this trend? At a minimum, the sequence of higher reaction lows would need to be broken. The most recent trading low was close to $55,000. I suspect a lot of stops have now been placed around that level.

The one thing traders should be wary of is another failed upside break. At least some of the people who bought the last breakout were burned. As such, they’re much more likely to have stops this time around.

Although, if the breakout persists there’s no reason to worry. But, we always need to keep in mind what can go wrong.

The last time a bitcoin ETF was in the works there was also a lot of enthusiasm in the market. When the SEC refused to permit the ETF in 2017, it resulted in a short but deep pullback of about 18%.

That’s something to bear in mind this time around.

All the best,

Eoin Treacy
Co-Editor, Market Minute

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