For the past two months, the price of bitcoin has been stuck in a range of $8,500 and $10,000. The leading cryptocurrency has been boring for some weeks now, with ‘real’ volume at extremely low levels, going below $1 billion.
However, it’s not just bitcoin, most of the major asset prices have been dull as well.
“Most major asset prices (my emphasis is on EM) are currently within a fairly narrow range relative to their pre-COVID 12-month averages,” said Natalia Gurushina, an economist at VanEck. “There are two big exceptions: EMFX and Gold.”
Move BTC Move
Since yesterday, however, the digital asset has been recording slight gains, going to nearly $9,300 before dropping back down to almost $9k flat. Today’s earlier gains came along with US stocks which are extending their greens as jobs in the country increased by 4.8 million in June, higher than the estimated 2.9 million. This helped bring the unemployment rate down to 11.1%.
“Payrolls even managed to move this tired dog,” commented trader and economist Alex Kruger about bitcoin’s movement.
Still, Bitcoin had a “strong” quarter 2 with 42% returns and closed at $9,150, making it the third-best quarterly close in the digital asset’s short history.
This has been despite June being an extremely slow month for Bitcoin, ending the month about 8.5% lower. The last month, however, proved to be a good one for small-cap cryptocurrencies while large and mid-cap indices followed Bitcoin.
“The year started out incredibly strong, but the party came to a sudden halt as corona shook the markets. Despite the sharp corona sell-off, all indices sits comfortably in the green, with BTC being the worst performer at +27% YTD,” noted Arcane Research.
It’s not only the price that is boring, but so is the mining difficulty. Amidst the low volatility, bitcoin difficulty posted its smallest percentage change in a decade, it was last seen in March 2010.
A mere 0.0033% drop saw the bitcoin mining difficulty going from 15.7847 trillion to 15.7842.
The #Bitcoin difficulty has had the smallest adjustment since 2010, a -0.0033% change, staying at 15.78 T ⛏️
The average block time was 10 minutes and 1 second, meaning it was the most stable period of mining for a decade, when difficulty was only 4.
That's 4 without a T 😲 pic.twitter.com/2TepwVI2v0
— f2pool (@f2pool_official) July 1, 2020
Bitcoin difficulty that measures how hard it is to mine bitcoin, adjusts every 2,016 blocks, roughly every two weeks based on the total computing power participating in the network.
Network hashrate meanwhile hovers around 100 Th/s since the beginning of last month. This slowdown in hashrate growth may continue, says bitcoin mining pool, F2Pool, because “many of the large hardware orders reported recently won't deliver until late in the summer.”
“With a relatively stable BTC price, daily mining revenue per TH/s also sees little change. Each day you can earn around $0.075 per terahash for your contribution to secure the Bitcoin network,” stated F2Pool.
“With such little change in the past two weeks, it means every new-gen machine is profitable at both $0.03 and $0.05/kWh.”
Not the price but the network.
From price to network fundamentals all have been dull and boring for quite some time but the on-chain activity on bitcoin today brought some enthusiasm with it.
Hourly new bitcoin addresses hit a 2-year high and hourly active addresses 1-year high. Hourly transaction count also hit a 10-month high while hourly spent outputs with a lifespan 24 hours reached an all-time high, noted Rafael Schultze-Kraft CTO at Glassnode.
Bitcoin price, volume, and social activity might not be doing much but some network activities are showing promising growth, not to forget all the accumulation by the retail and increasing interest from institutions.
Also, trader Bob Loukas says, “The July bitcoin Cycle low is slowly coming into focus. Continued consolidation is very bullish action.”