On-chain metrics hint at a bearish outlook for Bitcoin

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Blockchain analytics provider Glassnode has depicted a bearish scenario for Bitcoin as on-chain metrics suggest increased selling pressure is imminent.

In its weekly analytics report on Feb. 21, on-chain metrics firm Glassnode said that Bitcoin bulls “face a number of headwinds,” referring to increasingly bearish network data.

The researchers pointed at the general weakness in mainstream markets alongside wider geopolitical issues as the reason for the current risk-off sentiment for crypto assets.

“Weakness in both Bitcoin, and traditional markets, reflects the persistent risk and uncertainty associated with Fed rate hikes expected in March, fears of conflict in Ukraine, as well as growing civil unrest in Canada and elsewhere.”

It added that as the downtrend deepens, “the probability of a more sustained bear market can also be expected to increase.” Bitcoin is currently trading down 47% from its November all-time high and has been down-trending for the past 15 weeks.

A lack of on-chain activity is one of the distinct signals of a bearish Bitcoin market. The number of active addresses or entities is currently at the lower bound of the bear market channel which depicts on-chain activity during periods of sideways or down trending markets, suggesting a decrease in demand and interest.

Active on-chain entities: Glassnode

Glassnode reported that around 219,000 addresses have been emptied over the past month suggesting that it could be the beginning of a period of outflows of users from the network.

It calculated a short-term holder realized price on an aggregate cost basis which worked out at $47,200 meaning that the average loss at current prices is around 22% for those still holding the asset.

“The longer that investors are underwater on their position, and the further they fall into an unrealized loss, the more likely those held coins will be spent and sold.”

There were several other measurements of long and short-term on-chain positions culminating in the conclusion that there is a total of 4.7 million BTC currently underwater. More than half of it, or 54.5% is held by short-term holders (less than 155 days), “whom are statistically more likely to spend it,” it added.

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Crypto Twitter has also been awash with bearish sentiment over the past few days and the Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index is currently registering a 20 — “extreme fear”.

At the time of writing, BTC prices had fallen 6% over the past 24 hours to trade at $36,738 according to CoinGecko. Bitcoin is now priced very close to its lowest level of 2022, which was just over $35,000 on Jan. 23.

On the positive side, on Feb. 19 Cointelegraph reported that the inactive Bitcoin supply is nearing record levels with more than 60% of BTC remaining unspent for at least a year. 3AC co-founder Zhu Su commented that many people that bought BTC in 2017 and 2018 are still hodling, adding “Anecdotally many of these ppl are staying humble this time and buying every month regardless of what else is happening.”