Bitcoin slumbers as altcoins push higher

An eerie calm has descended over the cryptocurrency market as bitcoin volatility levels continue to drop. Even a brief dip below $9k on Sunday failed to trigger a bigger move, with bitcoin quickly pushing back up as buyers stepped into the market. 

While large-cap altcoins have mirrored bitcoin’s stability over the past few days, a number of smaller cryptocurrencies—including Cardano, Tron, and Stellar Lumens—have broken away from the pack to make strong performances.

Despite the quiet moment, Bitcoin’s performance in the second quarter of 2020 has still surpassed the stock market. The S&P 500 closed the quarter on a high note with 28% gains, marking the best quarterly performance since 1998, but bitcoin clocked 36% over the same period.

This Week’s Highlights

  • Bitcoin is a “caged bull”
  • Cardano Surges as Shelley Welcomed to Network

Bitcoin is a “caged bull”

Bitcoin’s lack of movement has led Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone to describe the cryptocurrency as a “caged bull”, which remains locked in the same price range even as demand rises.

McGlone sees the present low volatility as part of the transition from speculative asset to crypto gold, and claims bitcoin could soon reach $12,000 amidst “unparalleled global central-bank easing and rising gold values.”

The rising network activity also supports Bloomberg’s bullish thesis. This hasn’t gone unnoticed elsewhere, with data firm Santiment noting a surge in addresses interacting on the bitcoin network, and Glassnode reporting a two-year high in the creation of new addresses. 

Cardano Surges as Shelley Welcomed to Network

Cardano was a top performer this week, climbing over 20% as code was revealed that could put the altcoin on the same level as smart contract giant Ethereum.

Details of the long-awaited Shelley upgrade were released on June 30th, following years of development and months of testing. The code is now set to be integrated with the blockchain over the next few weeks, culminating in a hard fork at the end of July. This promises to make Cardano more decentralized, more scalable, and more usable 

The Week Ahead

As bitcoin begins its sixth week locked in a tight trading range, the prospect of a post-halving rally seems to be fading. However, the quiet moment has historical precedent—bitcoin consolidated for more than 10 weeks following the halving of 2016 before eventually exploding higher.

If the price action follows a similar path this time round, we could expect bitcoin to continue coiling in this tight range for the next few weeks. When it does finally break however, we can expect a large move with the recent improvement in network fundamentals potentially lending significant momentum to a new uptrend.