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Bitcoin price consolidates as SEC looks to delay ETF decisions until January 2024

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(Kitco News) - Bitcoin (BTC) bulls are battling it out with bears near the $36,400 support/resistance level, which has become the midpoint of the trading range for BTC since it first spiked to $38,000 on November 9.

The window for the SEC to approve multiple spot BTC ETFs is all but closed, and the regulator has already announced delays for several ETF applications. This suggests that the first spot Bitcoin ETF will not be approved until 2024, with investors now focused on the deadline for the ARK 21Shares application, which is Jan. 10.

While many had suggested that the ETF hype was a ‘buy the rumor, sell the news’ type of event, the lack of an approval this week has resulted in only a minimal decline from the recent high, while the price chart still shows a trend of higher highs and higher lows.

BTC/USD Chart by TradingView

"Bitcoin had a slight pullback this week after reaching the 38,000 level,” said Rachel Lin, co-founder and CEO of SynFutures. “The premier cryptocurrency corrected by over 6% and reached a 35,000 level, from where it has since bounced back to the past week's highs.” She noted that in her previous report, “We expected the market to witness a minor correction as the RSI reached extremely overbought levels in the daily time frame.”

BTC/USD 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

“Currently, the 38,000 level is acting as resistance, with Bitcoin rejecting from the zone twice in two weeks, Lin said. “On the downside, 35,000 will likely act as the next support zone, followed by 31,500.”

She also highlighted that the past seven days have seen altcoins join the bull market party, with multiple tokens seeing double-digit gains while BTC has gone sideways. “This has led Bitcoin dominance to fall from 53.5 last week to 52.2,” she said. “Whether this is the start of the new altcoin season or just a temporary blip will largely be determined by how well Ethereum performs in the coming weeks.”

“In recent months, the second biggest cryptocurrency has been lagging behind Bitcoin and other major altcoins like Solana, Polygon, and Cardano,” she added. “For a true altcoin season to begin, we need to see Ethereum go on its bull run, which could result in similar rallies in other Ethereum ecosystem tokens.”

Moving beyond technical indicators, Lin noted that “The money flow into the crypto ecosystem continues to remain strong, marking the seventh week of positive inflow.”

“According to Coinshares' weekly report, Ethereum saw a considerable increase in inflow, but Bitcoin continues to dominate, attracting around 80% of the total inflow,” she said. “The options market remains unchanged, with 30,000 to 50,000 Call options having the most open interests for November and December. OI Call to Put ratio now stands at two to one, showing a strong bullish bias.”

Lin concluded her note by pointing out that, “after the initial breakouts, the crypto market is now seeing some consolidation while still maintaining its bullish momentum.”

Market analyst Rekt Capital addressed the consolidation at these higher levels by pointing out that a similar trend was seen during the previous two bull market cycles. He said BTC could either continue to trade sideways or see one last pullback headed into the next Bitcoin halving, which is expected in mid to late April.

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