• Francisco Hernandez

Bitcoin (BTC) pump NOT related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Introduction

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus (officially named COVID-19) one month in, there is finally enough data to answer the question of whether the Bitcoin (BTC) pump was associated with the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Recently, there have been many stories in the news suggesting that the Bitcoin pump was associated with the Coronavirus. Similar claims have been made about the stock market and the Coronavirus (image 1). Despite the sensationalism, the Bitcoin pump is not related to the Coronavirus outbreak. In the first portion of this article, I discuss the results of a correlation between the daily percent change in the Bitcoin price and in confirmed cases of Coronavirus. In the second portion, I look at the technical analysis of the Bitcoin daily chart.


Image 1: Bitcoin (BTC) and stock market Google search results.


The "News"

On Twitter (image 2) and various media outlets (above), there have been reports suggesting that the Bitcoin pump was associated with the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Image 2: Bitcoin (BTC) and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Twitter search.


This is understandable. For instance, look at the Bitcoin daily chart and the Coronavirus daily confirmed cases chart below (image 3; John Hopkins University, 2020). The charts look totally correlated right? As one goes up, the other goes up.


Image 3: Bitcoin (BTC) 2020 pump and Coronavirus (COVID-19) total confirmed cases.


As it turns out, their relationship is weaker than it appears. Look at the charts when they are scaled (Image 4). Notice the y- and x-axis' for both charts. Doesn't look like much now.


Image 4: Bitcoin (BTC) 2020 pump and Coronavirus (COVID-19) total confirmed cases, adjusted.


Despite this, media outlets continue to make unsupported claims about the relationship between Bitcoin and the Coronavirus. However, I was able to determine an aspect of the relationship between the Bitcoin pump and the Coronavirus outbreak via a correlation.


The Results

After calculating the daily percent change in the Bitcoin (BTC) price and confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), I was able to run a correlation on a sample of 24 data points (image 5). Feel free to contact me on Twitter (@heady_wook) if you are interested in the raw data or methodology.


Image 5: Daily percent change in Bitcoin (BTC) price, S&P 500 price, and Coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed cases.


According to the results (image 6), Bitcoin's daily percent change is not significantly correlated to the daily percent change in confirmed Coronavirus cases, r(22) = -.179, p = .402. This is not to say they have no relationship at all. A correlation of -.179 is still a negative relationship, it is just insignificant. The results suggest that Bitcoin and the Coronavirus outbreak (in terms of daily percent change) are not related. If you were curious, the relationship between the S&P 500 and the Coronavirus daily change is also insignificant, r(15) = -.254, p = .325.


Image 6: Correlation matrix.


The Technical Analysis


BTC-USD, 1D, BTSE


Trend

Trend line and 50% all time high support.


Bitcoin (BTC) on the daily chart is still bullish. Bitcoin has broken past the old resistance (~$9,820) which was 50% of the all time high. Now this area is considered a level of support (green dashed). Bitcoin is also following an upward trend line (green dotted) very nicely. These two support areas converged a day ago which indicates reinforced support. The most current candle is red; Bitcoin could test the trend line again in the coming days. Additionally, although not shown here, today's candle is on a 9 on the TD Sequential indicator. This suggests that the trend may face a 3-4 candle retracement.


Fibonacci Retracements

Fibonacci retracements.


When Fibonacci retracement levels are added, Bitcoin's support becomes clearer. On top of the two trend lines mentioned above, the 23.6% (red) Fibonacci retracement level is also very close to the previously mentioned support area. This again, reinforces support further. Should prices test the area ranges between ~$9,643 - $10,000, I expect a strong bounce. Taken in to account with the Bollinger Bands and moving averages this becomes evident.


Bollinger Bands and Moving Averages

Bollinger Bands and moving averages.


The moving averages also fall closely in line with support levels mentioned above indicating strong support. Bitcoin had two nice golden crosses with the 20-day MA crossing over both the 100- and 200-day MAs. The price has also been riding the top of the upper Bollinger Band but has failed to close above it since the end of January. Additionally, Bitcoin has been bouncing off the middle BB (aka 20-day MA). The price has not approached the middle BB for about a week now. It could be time for a small retracement; testing newly established support levels. Let's look at a few indicators for confirmation.


OBV

On balance volume.


The OBV is making higher highs and higher lows. This is in on par with the upward trend mentioned above. However, currently the OBV is pointing downwards, indicating increased selling pressure. Perhaps the OBV could reach the trend line as indicated by the green line. The OBV is likely to test this trend. To remain bullish, the next low should be a higher low and then following that a higher high. If not, I would expect a bounce off the trend line.


CMF

Chaikin Money Flow.


The CMF is above the zero line and has been bullish since January. The CMF has also been following an upward trend (green). However, the CMF is pointing down suggesting waning buying pressure. The CMF still has some room to go before reaching the trend line. If the CMF does move toward the trend line, it could make a lower low. An ideal situation would be for the CMF to turn upwards and continue making higher lows and highs or bounce off the trend line.


MACD

MACD.


The MACD has also been bullish since the beginning of the year. The MACD is on the positive side of the zero line and appears to also be following an upward trend. The MACD line (blue) has tested the signal line (red) 4 times in this chart. However, the MACD has not tested the signal line since the start of February. Given that the MACD line is pointing downwards (along with all the other indicators), it is likely to test the signal line again.


Conclusion

In the first portion of the article, I discussed the results of a correlation between the daily percent change in Bitcoin's price to the daily percent change in confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The results suggest that the relationship between them is weak and insignificant. In the second portion of the article, I looked at Bitcoin's daily TA chart. All indications point to a retracement coming. The retracement could test the upward trend line shown in the "trend" section or lower levels of support, such as the 50% all time high level of ~$9,820, the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level of $9,640, and/or the middle Bollinger Band of ~$9,520. Ultimately Bitcoin is still in a bull market. Given a small retracement, I expect Bitcoin to test higher levels of resistance, such as October 2019's high of ~$10,398 or June 2019's highest close of ~$10,755.

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