A visual representation of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin on December 12, 2017 in London, England.
Jordan Mansfield | Getty Images
Bitcoin on Tuesday floated at the $19,000 level, where it has remained for about a month with some momentary breaks.
The largest cryptocurrency by market cap, whose volatility has been uncharacteristically low in recent weeks, was down by 1.1% at $19,002.70, according to Coin Metrics. Ether fell 2% to $1,282.17.
Crypto prices remain depressed, with bitcoin off its all-time high from nearly a year ago by more than 70%. Chart analysts have been looking for the cryptocurrency to break lower – to retest its June lows of about $17,000 and find a new bottom, potentially as low as $10,000 – if it fails to hold at $19,000. Slight breaks below that level haven’t proved to be meaningful, however.
“Crypto markets continue their slumber with little progress either way,” said Richard Usher, head of OTC trading at the BCB Group. “Until broad risk bounces, this sector won’t.”
Traders are keeping an eye on economic data out later this week. Though recent bitcoin volatility is low compared with stocks, the correlation between the two is still high.
“The price of bitcoin is maintaining the $19,000 level, but with the FOMC’s minutes and CPI ahead this week, the market will likely refrain from taking risks, which in turn will likely put pressure on bitcoin,” Yuya Hasegawa, crypto market analyst at Japanese crypto exchange Bitbank, told CNBC Tuesday.
Prices held steady even after two big announcements signaling that institutional acceptance and adoption of crypto continues to build in spite of the bear market. On Tuesday, Google announced it would explore using Coinbase’s service for storing and trading cryptocurrencies. On top of that, BNY Mellon said Tuesday that it will add cryptocurrencies to the various assets it holds as a custody manager.
“These large companies believe in the potential of digital assets and Web3,” said Owen Lau, an analyst at Oppenheimer. “It takes time to build, but these companies are taking a long-term view to bulk up their capabilities to make sure they won’t be behind in 3-5 years.”
In the past month, Nasdaq also launched crypto custody for institutions and Franklin Templeton, Betterment, Société Générale and other wealth managers have made forays into crypto.
A year ago, news like that might have moved the crypto market, but prices are largely macro driven now.
Still, prices will likely be stuck for some time. The Federal Reserve pushed crypto into the well with its rate-hiking plan, and investors say it’s on the central bank to pull it back out.