For the better part of a month and a half, bitcoin has been fairly range-bound and unable to establish new lows or new highs. There are some bullish and bearish setups on the horizon for bitcoin, so let’s check out both sides of the argument because currently the market is sitting in the middle of Indecisionville — the most immediate sign of which is this glaringly obvious head-and-shoulders bottom reversal pattern:Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Head-and-Shoulders BottomThis current pattern is nothing more than a setup at the moment, but it represents one potential outcome of this sustained consolidation. In order for this pattern to be confirmed, we need to see a daily candle close above the neckline (horizontal blue line). A breakout of this reversal pattern has a measured move of approximately $1,000 — a target of around $5,200. However, there are plenty of things that should keep the bulls wary for the time being. Until we close a higher high, the trend remains down.Another potential outcome for a swing high is a bull trap called a Swing Failure Pattern (SFP). Quite simply put, an SFP is an impulsive move to new highs that fails to close above the previous high:Figure 2: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Potential SFP SetupIf the market moves above the previous high shown in the figure above, but fails to close above it, we could see an immediate rejection of the high; this could trigger a powerful reversal.The whole point of an SFP is to engineer liquidity for big players. So, when the price breaks to a new high, it lures in plenty of breakout traders who are impatient. Once the price fails to close above the previous high, those traders are now trapped in underwater long positions that will then be used to push the price lower as they get stopped out or liquidated.However, as previously stated, both of these possibilities are up in the air. At the moment, we are currently suspended in the middle of a trading range which is generally considered to be a no-trade zone, as it is fraught with bull and bear traps. Contrary to the two previous scenarios I’ve laid out, it’s entirely possible that we even visit the bottom of the range to retest support. We currently only have one real test of that support and we could potentially revisit the support in the low $3,000s.Until bitcoin makes a test of the upper or lower boundaries, there isn’t a whole lot we can do in terms of macro trend analysis. It’s at times like this that it is often advisable to prepare for a move and lay out a plan for both the bullish and the bearish scenarios — sort of like an if/then format: If bitcoin moves above resistance and closes, then I will do “x,” and if bitcoin moves above resistance but fails to close above the high, then I will do “y.” For now, we will have to wait and see how the market treats its next test of macro support or resistance.Summary:Bitcoin has been range-bound for almost 2 months and has yet to retest its established lows or established highs.Although it is currently in the middle of the range, there are a couple potential scenarios I outlined in this article. A massive inverted head-and-shoulders setup could push the price to the low $5,200s. However, a failure to close above the previous high could see a strong reversal of the trend to the downside of the range.Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.