Bitcoin Pulls Back After Briefly Breaching $9,000

Cryptocurrencies moved mostly lower on Monday, while bitcoin was unable to regain momentum to move back towards the $9,000 level briefly breached last week.

Cryptocurrencies overall were moving lower, with the total coin market capitalization at $272.02 billion at the time of writing, compared to $276.88 billion on Sunday.

Bitcoin traded down 3.1% to $8,527.8 on the Index as of 9:04 AM ET (13:04 GMT), off the 2019 high of $9,045.9 reached last Thursday.

After tumbling from record highs close to $20,000 reached in December 2017, the digital currency spent most of the first quarter of 2019 hovering below the $4,000 level before regaining momentum early last month. The largest digital currency by market cap is up 130% year-to-date.

The move towards $9,000 brought back memories of the crypto-craze seen 2017 and led The Wall Street Journal to point out some unusually large bullish bets on bitcoin.

The financial paper reported two unidentified call options at $50,000 and $36,000, trades that only pay off if bitcoin surges past those levels. WSJ however was quick to point out that a “small number of wildly optimistic bets in bitcoin options don’t mean its current surge will continue”.

Matt Weller, global head of market research at GAIN Capital, took a more conservative approach and recommended watching the key range of $8,000-$9,000.

Referring to the current pullback in a recent technical analysis, Weller recommended keeping an eye on the $8,000-$9,000 range.

“A break below Thursday’s low and the 20-day moving average at $8,000 would confirm the reversal and open the door for a retracement back toward $7,000,” he said. “While not the likeliest scenario at this point, a close back above $9,000 would signal that bulls have weathered the storm and clear the way for a likely continuation toward the widely-watched $10,000 level next.”

In other digital currency trading, XRP rose 0.7% to $0.44728, Ethereum dropped 3.3% to $262.95, while Litecoin traded down 2.9% to $112.5.