Bitcoin (BTC) gained about 40% in January, its best finish in the first month of the year since 2013. The sharp rally caused a change in sentiment and the futures markets which saw backwardation in November and December started trading at a healthy contango in January, according to Glassnode.
Coming out of a bear market low, a rally driven by the leaders rather than the laggards is a sign that the bottoming process may have begun. The rise in Bitcoin’s dominance from about 38% in November to above 42% in January is an indication that smart investors may have started accumulating Bitcoin at lower levels.
After the strong up-move in January, the next big question is how will Bitcoin perform in February. Coinglass data shows that since 2013, Bitcoin has closed February in the red only in 2014 and 2020. If history repeats itself, the possibility of a positive close in February is high but the pace of the rally may slow down.
Could Bitcoin and altcoins stay range-bound and consolidate the gains or will traders book profits, dragging prices lower? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.
Bitcoin dipped below the breakout level of $22,800 on Jan. 30 but the bulls purchased at lower levels and pushed the price back above $23,000 on Jan. 31.
The upsloping moving averages and the relative strength index (RSI) near the overbought zone suggest that bulls are in control. Even if the price slides below $22,800, the BTC/USDT pair is likely to find support at the 20-day exponential moving average ($21,936).
A strong rebound off the current level or the 20-day EMA could again launch the pair toward the overhead resistance of $24,000.
A break and close below the 20-day EMA could be the first sign that the bulls may be rushing to the exit. There is a minor support at $21,480 but if that gives in, the pair could retest the psychologically critical level of $20,000.
Ether (ETH) turned up from the 20-day EMA ($1,546) on Jan. 31 but the rebound lacks strength. This suggests a lack of aggressive buying by the bulls.
The bears will try to shift the advantage in their favor by pulling the price below the 20-day EMA and the strong support at $1,500. If they succeed, the ETH/USDT pair could pull back to the important support at $1,352. A strong bounce off this level could signal a range-bound action between $1,352 and $1,680 for some time.
If bulls want to maintain their dominance, they will have to fiercely defend the 20-day EMA and catapult the price above $1,680. If they do that, the pair could rise to $1,800 and eventually to $2,000.
BNB (BNB) formed an inside-day candlestick pattern on Jan. 31, indicating indecision among the bulls and the bears.
If the price dips below the 20-day EMA ($300), the short-term advantage could tilt in favor of the bears. The BNB/USDT pair could then dive to $280 and thereafter to the 50-day SMA ($273). Buyers are expected to defend this zone with vigor.
On the upside, the bulls will have to overcome the stiff barrier at $318 to gain the upper hand. There is no major resistance between $318 and $360, hence the pair may cover this distance in a short time.
XRP (XRP) plummeted below the 20-day EMA ($0.40) on Jan. 30 but the bears could not sustain the lower levels. This suggests that the bulls are buying on dips.
The 20-day EMA is flattening out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, indicating a range-bound action in the near term. If the price breaks below the 20-day EMA, the XRP/USDT pair could fall to the 50-day SMA ($0.37), which may act as a strong support. The pair could then attempt a rally to the overhead zone of $0.42 to $0.44
If buyers want to gain the upper hand, they will have to kick the price above the overhead resistance. The pair could then pick up pace and soar to $0.51 and thereafter to $0.55.
Cardano (ADA) turned up from the 20-day EMA ($0.36) on Jan. 31 but the bulls could not overcome the barrier at $0.40. This suggests that the bulls may be tiring out.
The bears will try to strengthen their position by dragging the price below the 20-day EMA support. If they can pull it off, the ADA/USDT pair could enter a short-term corrective phase. There is a minor support at $0.32 but if it fails, the next support is at $0.30.
The 20-day EMA has not been breached since Jan. 4, hence, the bulls will make every attempt to defend it. If the price turns up from the 20-day EMA and breaks above $0.40, it will indicate that the up-move may continue for some more time. The pair could then rally to $0.44.
Dogecoin (DOGE) pierced the $0.09 resistance and soared near $0.10 on Jan. 31. This is a positive sign but the bears are in no mood to surrender. The sellers yanked the price to $0.09 on Feb. 1.
The 20-day EMA ($0.09) is an important level to keep an eye on. If the price rebounds off this level with strength, it will suggest that the sentiment remains positive and traders are buying on dips. That could enhance the prospects of a rally to $0.11 where the bears may again pose a strong challenge.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price continues lower and plunges below the 20-day EMA, the pair could slip to the 50-day SMA ($0.08) and later to $0.07.
Polygon’s (MATIC) shallow bounce off the breakout level of $1.05 on Jan. 30 shows weak demand at lower levels. The bears will try to pull the price to the 20-day EMA ($1.03).
If buyers want the up-move to remain intact, they will have to defend the 20-day EMA. If the price turns up and rises above $1.13, buying may pick up and the MATIC/USDT pair could attempt a rally to $1.30.
Contrarily, if the price plummets below the 20-day EMA, it could trap several aggressive bulls who may have gone long above $1.05. That could result in long liquidation and the pair may tumble to the 50-day SMA ($0.90).
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Litecoin (LTC) bounced off the 20-day EMA ($88) on Jan. 30, indicating that the uptrend remains intact and lower levels are attracting buyers.
The upsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the positive zone indicate advantage to buyers. The LTC/USDT pair could first reach $100 where the bears may again mount a strong resistance. If bulls do not give up much ground from this level, the pair could continue its northward march toward $107.
The first sign of weakness will be a break and close below the 20-day EMA. That could indicate profit-booking by short-term traders. The pair could then slide to $81.
Although the bulls pushed Polkadot (DOT) above the resistance line on several occasions in the past few days, they could not sustain the higher levels. This shows that the bears are fiercely defending this level.
The sellers will try to increase their dominance by pulling the price below the 20-day EMA ($6.04) while the bulls will attempt to protect the support. If bears come out on top, the DOT/USDT pair could start a deeper correction to $5.50 and then to the 50-day SMA ($5.24).
In case the bulls successfully defend the 20-day EMA, it could increase the likelihood of a rally above the overhead resistance at $6.84. The pair could then accelerate toward $8 with a brief stop at $7.42.
Avalanche (AVAX) turned down from the horizontal resistance at $22 on Jan. 28 and dropped to the breakout level from the resistance line on Feb. 1.
The 20-day EMA ($17.87) is just below the resistance line hence it is likely to act as a strong support. If the price rebounds off this support zone, it will indicate that the sentiment is positive and traders are buying on dips. The bulls will then attempt to thrust the AVAX/USDT pair above $22 and start a rally toward $30.
The bears are likely to have other plans. They will try to pull the price below the 20-day EMA. If they do that, the pair could slide toward the 50-day SMA ($14.41).
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.