Those bitcoin (BTC-USD) faithful in search of an end to the month's long rout in prices for the popular cryptocurrency may have to wait longer, warns closely followed J.P. Morgan strategist and bitcoin expert Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou.
"We had argued previously that the failure of bitcoin to break above the $60k threshold would see momentum signals turn mechanically more bearish and induce further position unwinds, and that this has likely been a significant factor in the correction last week in pushing CTAs [commodity trading advisor] and other momentum-based investors to cut positions. The longer-term signal remains problematic, as it has yet to turn short. It would still take price declines to the $26k level before longer-term momentum would signal capitulation," said Panigirtzoglou in a new research note to clients.
Bitcoin prices had another challenging weekend over the Memorial Day holiday. Prices entered Saturday at about $36,311, and plunged to as low as $33,633. By Monday evening, bitcoin prices had rallied back a bit to $36,833. And Tuesday morning cryptocurrencies remained volatile.
Crypto notched a brutal May, crushed under the weight of negative tweets from crypto influencer Tesla CEO Elon Musk and fears of looming government regulation from the U.S. and China. Bitcoin prices shed roughly 37% in May, and are down 43% from their mid-April peak of $64,829.
Panigirtzoglou sees medium-term fair value for bitcoin in the $24,000 to $36,000 range.
The analyst thinks the May crash in bitcoin has badly weakened institutional demand, which is likely to keep prices under wraps for now.
"There is little doubt that the boom and bust dynamics of the past weeks represent a setback to the institutional adoption of crypto markets and in particular of Bitcoin and Ethereum. We note that the mere rise in volatility, especially relative to gold, is an impediment to further institutional adoption as it reduces the attractiveness of digital gold vs. traditional gold in institutional portfolios," Panigirtzoglou said.
Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas said on Yahoo Finance Live the pressure on crypto prices should serve as a reminder of the risk factors for those new investors in the often volatile space.
"I think that those who were new to this space may have under estimated the volatility that we can see in this market. But crypto is volatile, and we have to remember this is a really young industry and a very nascent asset class. So while we have seen a lot of volatility, we have been dealing with this since the very beginning," Haas said.
Despite the pullback in bitcoin and other crypto prices, Haas said Coinbase's second quarter remains on track. Coinbase is a crypto exchange that went public via a direct listing in April.
"And the momentum that we are seeing is continuing. There's a lot of interest in crypto. We shared it on our first earnings call just recently, with the momentum we saw in Q1 had continued into Q2 and we are optimistic at this point that we are going to see similar levels of excitement in volume on our platform that we saw in the first quarter," added Haas.
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