Bitcoin bulls battle to hold support at $19k as all eyes are focused on the Fed

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(Kitco News) – Weakness in both the crypto and traditional markets persisted for another day on Tuesday as investors around the world await this week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, where the Fed will reveal the latest round of interest rate hikes.

The current consensus is that the central bank will raise the Fed Funds rate by 75 basis points; however, there are some who remain concerned that a full 100 basis point hike might be in the cards as inflation remains a persistent concern.

Data from TradingView shows that Bitcoin (BTC) was under constant pressure in trading on Tuesday, sliding from a daily high of $19,660 to a low of $18,745 in the afternoon session before fighting to regain support at $19,000.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The continued weakness from the top crypto was noted in the morning BTC update from Kitco senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff, who observed that “a drop in price below former chart support at the early-September low gave the bears the overall near-term technical advantage and they are presently working on a price downtrend on the daily chart.”

While the situation may seem dire to some, independent market analyst Michaël van de Poppe suggested that things haven’t gotten “that bad yet,” and is looking for Bitcoin to reclaim support at $19,200 to signal a breakout higher.

MicroStrategy buys the dip

Bitcoin’s pullback below $20,000 proved to be too good of an opportunity to pass up for Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy, with reports emerging that the firm bought an additional 301 BTC for $6 million at an average price of $19,851.

This latest purchase brings the company’s total holdings to 130,000 BTC, which is roughly 0.62% of all of the Bitcoin that will ever be mined. According to an SEC filing, the aggregate purchase price for its BTC holdings is $3.98 billion.

Unfortunately for MicroStrategy, its average entry price currently stands at $30,639 per BTC, so its previous investments in the top crypto remain down substantially in U.S. dollar terms. If the firm were to have purchased its 130,000 BTC at today’s market price, it would have spent $2.48 billion, meaning that the company is currently sitting on a paper loss of over a billion dollars.

Mixed day in the altcoin market

On the whole, it was a mixed day for the altcoin market, with the top-200 split relatively evenly in terms of being in the red or green for the day.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Ether (ETH) price continued to struggle to gain momentum following last week’s successful Merge, seeing a slight decline of 0.25% and trading at a price of $1,355 at the time of writing.

Out of the top 200-tokens according to CoinMarketCap, the biggest gainers on the day are Helium (HNT) with a gain of 10.48%, an 8.43% increase for Render Token (RNDR), and a 7.11% gain for Syscoin (SYS).

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $929 billion, and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 39.3%.

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