Bitcoin slips

Bitcoin declined after reaching the highest levels since mid-June on Saturday amid optimism that the market may have recovered from its worst levels.

The largest cryptocurrency dropped as much as 3.6% to $22,958 on Monday after breaking above $24,000 over the weekend, its highest since mid-June. Its 27% gain in July made for the best month since October. Ether slid at the start of the week as well after posting a 70% jump last month, its best since January 2021.

“August promises to be every bit as stomach-churning for Bitcoin with further bouts of volatility guaranteed,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner at crypto lender Nexo.

Yet he’s “leaning towards a re-run of July’s resilience over June’s capitulation” after “Bitcoin absorbed last week’s one-two macro punch” of the Federal Reserve rate hike and data showing the US economy contracted for a second consecutive quarter.

Bitcoin had fallen below $20,000 during late June and July amid concern about interest-rate hikes and inflation, as well as troubles internal to cryptocurrencies, like the implosion of the Terra/Luna ecosystem and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

Its still well off the record high around $69,000 from November, but has begun showing some strength of late as the stock market has also rallied. In July, the S&P 500 gained 9%, the most since November 2020.

“Cryptos and equities have been positively correlated to one another, and that has especially been the case for the mega caps,” Jake Gordon at Bespoke Investment Group wrote in a note at the end of last week. He cited solid earnings results from big-cap tech firms, which “likely assisted in boosting risk sentiment to lift cryptos higher.”

Ed Hindi, chief investment officer at crypto hedge fund Tyr Capital, said $24,400 and $1,750 were the next strong technical points for Bitcoin and Ether to break through respectively.

“It was a quiet weekend with extremely illiquid market conditions,” Hindi said in an interview. “What happened is that the market tried to go through these and couldn’t because liquidity wasn’t there. But weekend activity is not really relevant because it tends to be reversed on Monday when the bulk of volumes come back into the market.”