A weekly close above $16,700 means that BTC/USD remains without significant fluctuations amid the lack of a general market direction.

After witnessing erratic trading behavior around the latest US macro data print, the pair has since returned to a very familiar status quo. What could change it?

This is the question on every analyst’s lips as markets cringe at Christmas with little to offer.

The reality is hard for the average bitcoin trader – BTC is trading in less than it did two years and even five years ago. “FUD” is hardly in short supply thanks to the FTX fallout and concerns about Binance.

At the same time, there are signs that the two metals are recovering, while on-chain indicators suggest that the time is ripe for a classic overall price bottom.

Will bitcoin disappoint more in the new year, or will the bulls get the much-needed March Santa? Cointelegraph takes a look at the factors behind the upcoming BTC price movement.

BTC Spot Price: “Capital” or “Slow Grind?”
Closing the week just under $16,750, bitcoin escaped without a fresh bout of volatility on December 18th.

Even that which accompanied US inflation data and Fed comments did not last long, and BTC/USD has since returned to the frustratingly contentious status quo.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView proves this point – since the FTX scandal broke in early November, Bitcoin has not seen any significant price movement at all.

BTC/USD 1-week candlestick chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView
For market commentators, the question is when will things take a different turn, up or down.

Looking at the Fibonacci retracement levels on the weekly chart, analytics resource Stockmoney Lizards speculated that BTC/USD was at a “major support”.

If the area around $16,800 starts to fade, the next area is around $12,500.

Another chart from the weekend compared what has been called bitcoin’s “ultimate drift” during previous bear markets. This reinforced the notion that BTC/USD may be about to finish “copying” previous macro bottom structures.

BTC/USD chart comparison. Source: Stockmoney Lizards / Twitter
Others believe the worst is yet to come in the current cycle. Among them is well-known Crypto trader and analyst Tony, who is among those targeting a potentially low price of around $10,000.

“So in 2023, I would expect BTC to start forming a bottoming pattern at the lower bounds of the range we are currently sitting in, along with volume support around $11,000-$9,000,” he reiterated in a Twitter thread this weekend.

“Whether we give up or move on slowly remains to be seen.”
He added that the “accumulation phase” after mass capitulation will only come in 2023, as Bitcoin prepares for the subsidy halving event.

New US data due to the analysis is expected to dive into risky assets
After last week’s drama of inflation data and the Federal Reserve, it is safe to say that the coming week will provide somewhat less pressure on bitcoins.

However, third quarter GDP growth in the US is due, and is expected to turn positive after the second quarter saw a 0.9% decline.

This is significant, as with the print of the second quarter, the US has technically fallen into a recession, despite politicians’ best efforts to deny that the financial picture was as dire as the data indicated.

As noted by market investor Ajay Bagga, an overly strong GDP reversal would give license to the Fed to continue aggressive rate hikes to tame inflation – not welcome for risky assets across the board, including cryptocurrencies.

He wrote in an update last week: “The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s US GDP model estimate now for US real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2022 is 3.2% on December 9, down from 3.4 % on December 6″.

“US GDP is a very strong reading from a mostly accurate estimator. The Fed is going to raise its levels and keep hiking.”
In addition to GDP, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index is also due, a measure the Fed takes very seriously when factoring policy changes.

In a market update on December 17, trading firm QCP Capital also drew attention to the impact of personal consumption expenditures.

The report sums up: “Thanks to the Fed, whatever we’re trading now, we’re only trading inflation (and wages) footprints.”

However, QCP had a word of warning about risky asset markets and it came in the form of a downward move for everyone, including cryptocurrencies, in the near future.

“As we have been writing, this Q4 rally has created a perfect fourth wave, with the recent fifth wave hitting the bottom of all markets – S&P/Nasdaq, 2yr/10yr, USD and BTC/ETH.”

Annotated chart of NASDAQ 100 futures. Source: QCP Capital
Crypto Tony shared this sentiment, predicting what he called a “low impulse” across stock indices before bouncing back.

“I was looking for a push up to make a double top around 4320, but we failed to get there and got dumped before,” it reads.