After a spectacular ascent earlier this week, bitcoin struggles to regain the bullish momentum. The price touched mid-March highs just above the $9,000 figure but failed to make a decisive break of the psychological level and gave up to the bears. The cryptocurrency is attempting to keep above $8,000 on Friday.
The latest sell-off, though not a very aggressive one, came after reports of further crackdown on digital currencies by Japanese authorities. In particular, the national Financial Services Agency has issued a warning against Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance for operating in the country without registration. The regulator also warned about some penalties against the company.
The regulatory warnings and actions are not new to the cryptocurrency market, and a relatively tepid bitcion response to the news confirms this. However, as Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, the industry may yet feel the impact from the potential steps by the Japanese regulators. By the way, against this backdrop, Binance is reported to plan opening an office in Malta which is considered by the company as “very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech”.
As for the technical picture, BTCUSD needs to close above the $8,000 level in order to avoid further bearish pressure in the short-term. The immediate local resistance lies at $8,700 – this is the barrier on the way to $9,000 and above.
By Helen Rush
Senior Analyst at Capital Markets