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Christmas Cheers and Crypto Gears: Is the Santa Rally Unwrapping

Key Takeaways
  • The Fed, led by Powell, maintains confidence, keeping interest rates steady; plans three 2024 rate cuts to ease inflation.
  • BitMEX co-founder Hayes remains bullish; dramatic trader response to policy shift reinforces belief in Bitcoin's $1 million potential.
  • 10-year yield falls below 4% since August, sparking optimism; inverse correlation with Bitcoin suggests positivity around $50,000.
  • DXY drops to 101.50 despite inflation above 2%; Fed's dovish stance impacts USD, maintaining a favorable Bitcoin outlook.
22-Dec-2023 Lokesh Gupta
Christmas Cheers and Crypto Gears: Is the Santa Rally Unwrapping

The Enigma of Bitcoin's Santa Claus Rally Unveiled

As the year approaches its end, those engrossed in the world of cryptocurrency are eagerly anticipating the prospect of a Santa Claus rally in the market. Numerous factors, both positive and risky, are influencing the potential path of digital assets.

Particularly noteworthy is the impact of recent dovish statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve, coupled with speculations surrounding Bitcoin Spot ETFs, which are expected to trigger substantial movements in the crypto market. Let's explore the factors contributing to this sense of anticipation and the potential obstacles that could hinder a festive rally.

As December unfolds, the cryptocurrency community is buzzing with anticipation of a potential 'Bitcoin Santa Claus rally,' drawing parallels to notable surges in 2013 and 2017. This concept, gaining traction on social media, suggests a festive season uptick in Bitcoin's market value, reminiscent of the traditional "Santa Claus Rally" observed in the stock market.

Analyzing the historical information that brought attention to this term, we discover that in December 2013, the value of Bitcoin shot up significantly, going from less than $1,000 to a noteworthy $1,163 per coin. Likewise, in the holiday season of 2017, Bitcoin went through a remarkable surge, jumping from $8,500 to almost $20,000.

Skeptics point to the 2021 Christmas season, when Bitcoin peaked over $69,000 in November before plummeting in December. With the year ending at $46,000, this incidence has put doubt on the consistency of a Santa rally.

Nevertheless, the allure of a Bitcoin Santa Claus rally persists, keeping the crypto community on the edge of their seats as the year comes to a close.

Unpacking the Drivers of the Santa Claus Rally

  • In January, the cryptocurrency market demonstrated renewed investor confidence as its total market cap surpassed $1 trillion. However, this optimism was juxtaposed by the lending unit of Genesis, a prominent crypto company, filing for bankruptcy. Bitcoin experienced a notable increase to over $21,000, marking a 7.5% rise to $21,299.

  • February brought a revolutionary development with the introduction of Bitcoin Ordinals, allowing full content inscription directly onto satoshis, the smallest units of Bitcoin. Unlike traditional NFTs, Ordinals are embedded directly in Bitcoin transactions, representing a significant technological leap.

  • March witnessed significant regulatory actions, including the closure of crypto-friendly banks like Silvergate and Signature Bank, signaling a shift in the financial sector's approach to crypto businesses. The Indian government's inclusion of crypto assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) brought crypto exchanges under regulatory oversight.

  • In April, the European Union introduced the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, setting a global precedent for crypto regulations. MiCA aims to establish a harmonized regulatory framework for crypto assets, enhancing investor protection and ensuring market stability.

  • May saw Bhutan planning a $500 million fund dedicated to crypto mining, indicating growing government interest in harnessing the potential of cryptocurrencies. Hong Kong facilitated crypto trading for retail investors on verified platforms.

  • June featured regulatory pressure on major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase by the SEC. Mastercard strengthened its crypto presence, and Bitcoin reached a one-year high, surpassing $31,300.

  • In July, the SEC lost a case against Ripple regarding XRP, with implications for the classification of cryptocurrencies. Sam Altman launched WorldCoin, aiming to address income inequality, but faced regulatory scrutiny.

  • August saw PayPal launching its stablecoin, integrating cryptos into mainstream payment systems. A US court ruled in favor of Grayscale's ETF application, marking a step towards broader institutional involvement.

  • October saw the G20 adopting the IMF and FSB's Synthesis Paper, offering a regulatory roadmap for crypto assets. This move aimed to standardize regulations across G20 countries, reducing market fragmentation, with a goal to implement regulations by 2025. Bitcoin prices demonstrated optimistic growth by the month's end.

  • In November, Sam Bankman-Fried, former head of a major crypto exchange, faced legal consequences as he was found guilty of fraud and money laundering in a New York trial. Despite this, Bitcoin experienced a price surge, driven by institutional investment and potential ETF approval from the SEC, reaching new highs. Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, settled charges of sanction violations and breaches of money-transmitting regulations, agreeing to pay $4.3 billion. CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, faces a $50 million fine and steps down from his position.

  • In December, Bitcoin's price surged in anticipation of forthcoming ETF approvals. Factors like a potential increase in crypto investments, the 2024 Bitcoin halving, and the chance of an early bull run fueled positive sentiment. However, uncertainties about BTC's current resistance levels and recent price decreases have led to concerns about potential long position liquidations. Notably, Google now permits U.S. Crypto trusts to advertise, and in India, the FIU emphasizes compliance directives for platforms, ensuring top exchanges adhere to these guidelines.

Others major factors contributing to this anticipation

The FOMC meeting brought about a surge in confidence among traders, retail investors, and institutions as the U.S. Federal Reserve, led by Chair Jerome Powell, opted to keep interest rates unchanged. Powell disclosed the Fed's intention for three rate cuts in 2024, aligning with the gradual easing of inflation towards the 2% target.

Arthur Hayes, co-founder of BitMEX and a key player in the crypto field, voiced unshakeable trust in cryptocurrencies, underlining that there is no reason not to be enthusiastic. According to Hayes, who cited a Bloomberg story, traders' dramatic actions in response to the monetary policy adjustment have reaffirmed his view that Bitcoin's price will eventually hit $1 million.

The 10-year US Treasury yield fell below 4% for the first time since August, reviving optimistic confidence. Concurrently, the US dollar index (DXY) dipped to 102.50 as the Fed took a dovish posture despite inflation remaining over the 2% objective. The inverse relationship between Bitcoin's price and the yield on US Treasuries, as well as the US currency, maintains a favorable prognosis for Bitcoin around $50,000.

As the Bitcoin halving approaches in April 2024, investor optimism remains high, with a bullish stance on every buy-the-dip opportunity. The NiceHash countdown predicts the halving on April 12, 2024, with the mining reward set to reduce to 3.125 BTC. Matrixport Research foresees BTC reaching $60,000 before the halving, supported by bullish on-chain data and rising crypto exchange volumes. The Coinbase Premium Index indicates robust buying pressure, and Bitcoin open interest on major derivatives exchanges, including CME and Binance, is on the rise, signaling increased confidence among traders, despite expectations of heightened volatility.

The eagerly awaited approval of a Spot Bitcoin ETF by the U.S. SEC in January is a key point of anticipation in the cryptocurrency market. The growing influx of digital assets further confirms significant institutional buying, setting the stage for a potential rally in Bitcoin's price. Additionally, prospects of improved regulatory clarity, coupled with ongoing talks between SEC Chair Gary Gensler and Bitcoin ETF issuers, suggest a positive trajectory for the crypto market, with potential resolutions to regulatory uncertainties and conflicts.

Global events unfolding on the geopolitical and macroeconomic stage could enhance Bitcoin's appeal as a 'safe-haven' asset, particularly in the face of economic uncertainties. The crypto market is closely monitoring these events for their potential impact on Bitcoin prices.

Currently, the market sentiment is characterised by a mix of "optimism anxiety," reflecting a balance between hope and caution. This sentiment is influenced by the expectations surrounding the upcoming fundamentals, along with memories of the 2022 bear market. Projections suggest a potential shift towards the "belief denial" phase as the festive season approaches. This phase often sees the market in a state of internal conflict, adding an element of intrigue to Bitcoin's price dynamics.

Bitcoin's Price Movement Analysis During the Santa Claus Rally Period

Positive Price Trends:

Examining the historical data, the most notable surge occurred in 2011, registering a remarkable 65% increase. Interestingly, this surge coincided with a "Capitulation" sentiment, emphasizing that significant buying opportunities may arise during periods of heightened pessimism.

Over the last decade, Bitcoin has consistently displayed a bullish trend during the Santa Claus Rally, experiencing a price surge of at least 10% on six occasions: in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2019, 2020, and 2022. The average increase across these years was an impressive 31%, providing traders with substantial opportunities for quick gains in a relatively short time frame.

Negative Price Trends:

Conversely, there were four instances during the years 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2021 where Bitcoin's price declined by more than 10%. This suggests that in specific years, the anticipated Santa Claus Rally did not materialize, resulting in an average price drop of 21%. Therefore, purchasing Bitcoin on Christmas Day during these years could lead to a significant 21% decline in price within just three to four weeks.

Stable Price Trends:

In addition, the market demonstrated relative stability during two specific years, with price fluctuations contained within a modest 10% range. This implies a neutral stance during those festive seasons, highlighting the dynamic nature of Bitcoin's performance at year-end. Overall, the analysis indicates a mix of bullish, bearish, and neutral outcomes, with a slight inclination toward a bullish posture on average and a consistent manifestation of volatility.


Throughout 2023, the crypto industry experienced technological innovation, market fluctuations, and regulatory changes, highlighting its resilience and progress towards mainstream acceptance. With governments and institutions recognizing crypto's potential, the industry stands on the brink of a new era of growth and integration into the global financial system.

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