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The volatility of bitcoin disappoints once again

By breakfast time its intentions were clear, though, as it shook off the weekend’s lethargy and a rapid $500 spike signalled a desire to mount an assault on the $14k line it had come so perilously close to conquering two weeks ago. Back then, it was $50 shy of the mark, willed on by eager bulls who were quickly brought to their knees as things took a dive back below $11,000 and even a brief dip under $10k before settling back below $12,000 and what is now proving to be one of the stickiest lines of resistance in bitcoin’s 10-year-history. Another out-of-the-blue climb driven by rising market volume saw $13,000 breached again on Wednesday, coupled with much jubilation in the discussion threads and crypto chat boxes of social media as excited hands rubbed together with dreams of finally breaking above the promised land of $14,000.

However, before the day was out, the all too predictable collapse swiftly followed and sighs of disappointment drowned out the popping of champagne corks once again.

Today, the menu looks to be offering little fayre other than $11,500.

Even the specials board – the altcoins of Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash etc – has a hint of apathy about it.

It begs the question – should we really be surprised by bitcoin’s price movement anymore?

“Absolutely not,” laughs Mati Greenspan, a Senior Analyst at eToro.

“Extreme volatility is part and parcel of the bitcoin market.”

This drawn-out, up-and-down repetition is starting to grate on the enthusiasm of some, but not for Mr Greenspan. If anything, he believes it’s having the opposite effect.

“Volumes are strong at the moment,” he says.

“Over the last few weeks they’re the strongest they’ve ever been – I see a lively, bustling and rapidly growing market.”

The cause of voluminous lifts and swinging drops creating this great pendulum motion in the market is hard to fathom. Lately, there have been fingers pointing towards deliberate manipulation. That accusation, says, the experienced Mr Greenspan, has little foundation.

“Bitcoin is currently consolidating its gains,” he explains.

“There’s an apparent range between $10k and $14k, so movements within the range may be quite rapid.

“I’ve not seen any evidence of outright manipulation – there are a lot of whales in the market and large orders do tend to impact the bottom-line price, but that doesn’t mean that it’s intentional per se, or that anyone can really control it.”

The volatility of bitcoin in recent months has created a wave of calls for a hastening of regulation around the world. Whether or not that would calm the hot-bloodedness of cryptocurrency markets down remains to be seen.

“Regulation varies by location,” muses the eToro BTC specialist.

“More regulatory clarity is usually a good thing, but I don’t think it’s a decisive factor for most buyers and sellers.”

• Coin Rivet is a website bringing news, information, analysis, opinion and insight from the fast-moving blockchain world.

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