December 2, 2023

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were rising Wednesday but continue to exhibit stagnant price action over a longer term as analysts and market participants increasingly wonder whether it’s a rut—or a more permanent pattern.

The price of


has advanced more than 2% over the past 24 hours to $29,800, though the largest digital asset remained below the key $30,000 level that had provided it with support for months before a slide lower in late July.

“Bitcoin is looking heavy even as it has climbed over the last 24 hours. Volumes are still relatively low. Retail investors are not coming into the digital asset space in meaningful size, at least not yet,” said Zachary Townsend, the CEO of Meanwhile, an insurance company that operates in Bitcoin. “It does seem as though big buyers are scooping up large amounts of Bitcoin when the price dips below $29,000,” he added.

While stocks and the

Dow Jones Industrial Average


S&P 500

have proved exciting in recent weeks, Bitcoin and other tokens have fallen into a dull patch, with the volatility characteristic of cryptos dropping off a cliff.

“Bitcoin markets are experiencing an incredibly quiet patch, with several measures of volatility collapsing towards all-time lows,” analysts at crypto market intelligence firm Glassnode wrote in a note this week. “Given the context of Bitcoin’s infamous volatility, is a new era of Bitcoin price stability upon us, or is volatility mispriced?”

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This sentiment represents a split in the outlook for cryptos. On the one hand, some bulls suggest this is just the calm before the storm: a phase typical of early bull markets where big gains—Bitcoin remains up some 80% this year—flatten out before yet another run higher. But such an extended period of low volatility for Bitcoin could also herald a sea change in trading patterns, a shift that is not necessarily positive since many investors flock to the asset class exactly because of its volatility.

Beyond Bitcoin,


—the second-largest crypto—jumped 2% to $1,860. Smaller cryptos, or altcoins, were even more buoyant, with


climbing 3% and


popping 4%. Memecoins also were upbeat, with


up 3% and

Shiba Inu

soaring 9%.

Write to Jack Denton at [email protected]

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