This week on Planet Bitcoin - 13 November 2015

Friday 13 November 2015

Unlucky for some, and bitcoin’s been one of them.

It’s been a pretty tumultuous couple of weeks in the bitcoin markets. To recap, a month ago saw the price of bitcoin levelling at $250. There followed an impressive run-up, decisively breaking $300 by the end of October for only the third time this year. Moreover, it was a strong and sustained move above the psychologically important round number - the two previous rises barely lasted hours.

This time, we’ve been above $300 for two weeks - just. A combination of factors drove the price up to $500, which clearly represented overbought territory. There was only one way to go from there; the only question was how far.


The immediate result, which we saw at the beginning of this week, was a correction back down to the high $300s, bouncing between around $350 and $390 for a few days as the market tried to decide whether or not it seemed like a fair price. The excitement of a spike up to $500 brought plenty of new interest, and every movement has been exaggerated after months of calm.

But $400 proved an unattractive barrier to break again, and shortly afterwards sellers set the tone, bringing the price right back down to $300. This time, the level proved a floor rather than a ceiling; sellers were unwilling to accept a price under that. It was a sharp fall, and after the panic subsided the market settled on a price in the low-to-mid $300s.

What we might now expect is some consolidation around these levels as traders find a short-term consensus - just as they did after the fall from $500, when the price oscillated between $350 and almost $400, levelling out for a time and calming under lower volumes, until the next big move. (Technical traders are wont to talk about flags and pennants at this point, but you can find plenty of such analyses elsewhere.) The big question is, of course, whether than run-up from the mid-$200s proves sustainable and we stay above $300, or whether it will be a case of back to square one and the $200s that have characterised 2015 to date.

Around the bitworld

Market talk has dominated recently, but there has been plenty going on elsewhere. Microsoft has actively been exploring working with Ethereum, partnering with a crypto company to provide ‘blockchain as a service’. Also of note is that the bitcoin symbol is being added to a forthcoming version of Unicode, a global standard for text characters on the web.

Most alts have had a good week, too. Alt traders tend to sell when bitcoin rises, and conversely buy back into underpriced coins once the rally ends. That has proven true this time around; if bitcoin has been volatile, the alts have proven even more so.


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