Choppy trading has defined the cryptocurrency market so far in 2022, and investors should expect more of the same for the remainder of the year, said Tammy Da Costa, an analyst at DailyFX, in a recent interview with Insider.
The two largest cryptos by market capitalization, bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), have tumbled as low as 28.3% and 40.5% from where they entered the year, respectively. Bitcoin has corrected — or fallen by 10% or more — in the span of a week on six separate occasions, and the same is true for ethereum. Both digital assets are 35% to 40% off their all-time highs set last fall.
Enthusiasm for high-risk assets like cryptos has been hurt by two major headwinds, Da Costa said: central banks like the Federal Reserve have aggressively tightened their monetary policy to stop inflation, which makes investors less prone to speculate; and war has broken out between Russia and Ukraine, which has raised concerns about a global economic slowdown.
But while those concerns have kept cryptos in check, there are a few silver linings for investors, Da Costa noted. Interest rates may be rising but are still near all-time lows, and Ukraine has been able to raise money for its war effort in the blink of an eye by using cryptocurrencies — a high-profile, real-world use case for the burgeoning asset class that may further drive adoption.
Besides, given how ugly the year has been for US tech stocks and other risk assets so far, Da Costa is encouraged that cryptos haven’t fallen more and are trading well off their lows.
“We’ve still seen a certain amount of risk appetite despite the increase in geopolitical risks,” Da Costa told Insider.
Da Costa continued: “If we do see a de-escalation of the war and we do see inflation falling, then there is a possibility that there could be increased risk appetite, which would then support the crypto market.”
High volatility and a history of being influenced by technical factors like support and resistance levels makes it tempting to trade bitcoin and ethereum, though doing so is certainly risky.
That said, Da Costa shared key levels that bitcoin and ethereum will likely either bounce higher off of or rebound lower from.
Bitcoin will stay in a relatively tight trading range for the rest of 2022, Da Costa’s charts indicate.
The token — which currently trades for about $38,000 — can realistically climb nearly 40% from current levels to reach $53,000 but will be hard-pressed to surpass $69,000 and set a new all-time high this year, the crypto chartmaker said. A key Fibonacci retracement level to watch is $53,600, Da Costa said, adding that the mark is about where bitcoin peaked in early December.
But before bitcoin can rise to the low $50,000s, it must first break through the “key psychological level” of $44,000, Da Costa said. Doing so would bring the $48,000 level into play, she added.
The downside scenario for bitcoin is that it falls below $38,000 and fails to hold at the $32,000 level, Da Costa said. That would bring the 2021 low of about $28,800 into play, the analyst said, but she thinks bitcoin likely wouldn’t fall further than $22,000 in 2022.
Ethereum is also trading in a “very tight range,” Da Costa said, noting that the second-largest crypto by market cap has stalled out around $3,000. It, too, is unlikely to set a new record high this year, the chartmaker said, adding that it faces a challenging near-term outlook.
If ethereum breaks out to the upside, watch for it to break through its early-April high of $3,581 and then test the $3,900 mark that it last hit in January, Da Costa said. The next stop would then be the $4,000s, the analyst added.
The bear scenario for ethereum is that it tests key Fibonacci levels of $2,800 and $2,400, Da Costa said. However, she said she’s “slightly more bullish” on ethereum than bitcoin in the long run as its blockchain network continues to evolve — unlike bitcoin’s set-in-stone protocol.
Bitcoin and ethereum may have substantial upside from current levels, but Da Costa’s price forecasts also show how risky the space still is. Furthermore, huge price targets that suggest that the two tokens could double or triple are “unrealistic,” Da Costa said, given how competitive the crypto space is becoming.
“There’s so many other cryptocurrencies that are getting made and the blockchain keeps improving,” Da Costa said. “So I think that’s going to pose a threat to both bitcoin and ethereum.”
Besides bitcoin and ethereum, Da Costa said she has her eye on a pair of altcoins: cardano (ADA) and dogecoin (DOGE).
Regarding cardano, Da Costa said: “That’s also a blockchain that could reach a broader market because their aim is also to go into Africa, to actually assist people that maybe don’t have access to the internet or things that we take for granted. So I am bullish ADA.”
Dogecoin — a crypto that was created as a joke in 2013 — was part of the meme stock mania of early 2021. After a euphoria-driven runup, the token has crashed 80% from the all-time high it set last May. The crypto peaked right before Elon Musk — the Tesla and SpaceX CEO who also happens to be dogecoin’s biggest fan — went on Saturday Night Live.
Musk now back is in the spotlight — to the surprise of no one — as he publicly mounts a campaign to take Twitter private. Dogecoin spiked up to 28% in early April as that news broke and fans of the token began to speculate that Musk will possibly incorporate it into the social media platform, assuming he’s able to acquire it. Da Costa thinks it’s a story worth following.
“Because he’s such a huge driver of dogecoin, I think that there’s a possibility that could also rally,” Da Costa said. “But it all depends on the Twitter bid as well and what unfolds.”
Dogecoin jumped by more than 8% early on Monday amid reports that Musk was on track to reach a deal with Twitter.
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