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February 6, 2023

Could Bitcoin See a Golden Cross in February?

February 6, 2023

Bitcoin soared above $24,000 for the first time since August 2022 as the Federal Reserve confirmed it would implement a 0.25% interest rate hike in February. 

Although the price subsequently pulled back following weak technology earnings reports and positive jobs data, statements from the Federal Reserve maintained bullish market sentiment.

As the threat of monetary tightening lessens, bitcoin continues to approach a bullish signal that has not been seen since September 2021 – the golden cross.

Elsewhere, crypto regulation took another leap forward as the UK unveiled plans to regulate crypto trading and lending with the intent to become a hub for blockchain development.

  • US interest rate decision pushes bitcoin above $24,000
  • Bitcoin weeks away from bullish ‘golden cross’ signal
  • UK unveils roadmap and framework for crypto trading and lending

US interest rate decision pushes bitcoin above $24,000

Bitcoin soared to a 5-month high last week as the US Federal Open Market Committee confirmed it would be implementing a 0.25% interest rate hike in February.

The quarter-point hike brings the US Federal Funds rate to 4.5-4.75% and marked the second continuous slowdown in interest rates compared with the higher rate hikes implemented last year.

Bullish momentum was then driven forward by Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s question-and-answer session. 

During the session, Powell confirmed that it was good to see inflation falling so rapidly. Although he reiterated more interest rate hikes were likely, the severity of these hikes would be dependent on future economic data; a noticeable change when compared with the defiant hawkish stance taken by the Fed throughout 2022.

US Federal Funds Rate between March 2022 and February 2023


US Federal Funds Rate between March 2022 and February 2023

As the market digested Powell’s comments, Bitcoin spiked over 2% to a weekly high of $24,200. The coin has now increased by 40% since the start of the year.

Other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Litecoin also pushed higher. While Ethereum recorded a 6-month high of $1700, Litecoin recorded a 9-month high of $102.

Despite markets rallying after the FOMC decision, bullish momentum was shortlived as investors’ attention quickly turned to technology earnings reports and US jobs data.

Disappointing earnings from Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon led to a slide in technology stock prices on Friday, which rolled into the crypto market. 

Markets then continued to slide as January’s US nonfarm payroll figures showed that unemployment levels had fallen to the lowest in over 50 years. 517,000 jobs were added in January in comparison to the estimated 187,000. 

While beneficial to individuals, unemployment has continued to fall despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to slow down the economy with increasing interest rates. 

Weak employment figures remain one of the Fed’s key predictors for taming inflation, and with employment continuing to remain strong, investors remain aware to the risk of further rate hikes.

US unemployment rate and addition of jobs in the country month-to-month.


US unemployment rate and addition of jobs in the country month-to-month.

Bitcoin edges closer to bullish ‘Golden Cross’ signal

Thanks to the price increases experienced during January, Bitcoin is continuing to move closer and closer to one of the most prominent newsworthy signals in the crypto space – a golden cross.

A golden cross occurs when the 50-day simple moving average (SMA), moves above the 200-day SMA. The two indicators moving past one another create a cross on the price chart. 

While not all golden cross signals have signaled the start of a significant rally, some in the past have started with this signal. Therefore, many crypto analysts believe it is not a signal to ignore.

The movement of the 50-day SMA above the 200-day SMA simply means that short-term price gains have moved above long-term price gains, however, technical analysts use the signal to infer further higher prices could occur over the following months.

When looking at bitcoin’s daily price chart, it is possible that a golden cross may occur over the next month if prices continue to remain high. This would mark the first golden cross since September 2021, which occurred just before bitcoin printed its all-time high of $69,000.

Daily chart of BTC/USD showing 50-day and 200-day SMA


Daily chart of BTC/USD showing 50-day and 200-day SMA 

Alongside anticipation regarding bitcoin’s golden cross, excitement was raised on Thursday when the S&P 500 recorded its first golden cross since July 2020.

As bitcoin and stocks have become aligned since early 2020, investors believe that if stocks start to rally, crypto has a high probability of following.

It is important to remember that while 3 golden crosses in February 2012, October 2015, and May 2020, have marked the start of significant bullish rallies for bitcoin, 3 golden crosses in July 2014, July 2015, and February 2020, were bull traps that led to further downside.  

Therefore, the indicator cannot be relied upon on its own and should be used in conjunction with a range of other fundamental and technical analyses. 

Daily chart of S&P 500 showing golden cross 


Daily chart of S&P 500 showing golden cross 

UK unveils regulation plans for crypto trading and lending

Crypto enthusiasts welcomed new UK regulatory plans last week that detailed how the country will regulate crypto activities including trading and lending. 

The new regulatory plans were hotly anticipated by industry experts and included a number of measures that should help to bring businesses involved with digital assets in line with traditional financial companies.

As detailed in the accompanying report, one of the most significant problems faced in 2022 was the accumulation of risky loans between multiple cryptocurrency firms. 

According to a statement released on Tuesday, the proposals from the UK plan to abolish such activities by establishing “a “robust world-first regime strengthening rules around the lending of crypto assets, whilst enhancing consumer protection and the operational resilience of firms.” 

The economic secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith subsequently commented stating that “we remain steadfast in our commitment to grow the economy and enable technological change and innovation — and this includes crypto asset technology. But we must also protect consumers who are embracing this new technology — ensuring robust, transparent, and fair standards.”

Further proposals included within the regulatory plan include enforcing tougher transparency requirements for crypto exchanges but also relaxing the current strict rules regarding crypto advertisements to those registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

According to crypto industry experts, the move toward true crypto regulation is incredibly important. By providing a clear roadmap and framework, crypto-focused firms have a much better idea of what is required and it helps the UK to achieve its ambitions of becoming a hub and global leader in the crypto and blockchain technology space.

 Golden bitcoin coin sitting on top of the flag for the United Kingdom


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