The Bitcoin price may be decoupling from US stocks. Is this why?

The Nasdaq Composite has been a particularly reliable barometer of how Bitcoin has moved in 2022.

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Key points

  • The Bitcoin price has gained since last Tuesday while the NASDAQ has fallen
  • The correlation between the crypto’s price and US equities may be decoupling
  • All-time high ownership levels among long-term Bitcoin holders may explain the token’s strong support in the current price range

The Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price has been closely correlated with movements in US stock markets this year.

The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) has been a particularly reliable barometer of how BTC moves.

Look back at the price charts for 2022 and you'll see a 5% gain in the NASDAQ has usually been mirrored by a significantly larger gain in the Bitcoin price.

And when the NASDAQ drops, the world's top crypto has also tended to suffer a larger loss than the tech-heavy index.

Yet this past week may have offered another sign that Bitcoin could be starting to decouple from this correlation.

With some disappointing earnings results reported by the world's top tech shares, the NASDAQ remains down 1% from Tuesday's close, despite some strong gains to finish the week.

The Bitcoin price, on the other hand, is up just over 2% in that time.

Not a huge break from the correlation, mind you, but a break nonetheless.

Why might the Bitcoin price decouple from US stocks?

For some greater insight into what's happening in the crypto markets, we turned to Simon Peters, market analyst at multi-asset trading platform eToro.

Peters told The Motley Fool that despite the disappointing earnings results and outlook from some of the big tech names in the US, the Bitcoin price "has held firm".

Citing Glassnode data, Peters said that last week:

BTC exchange balances continued to drain, which is generally seen as bullish with the HODLer cohort reaching all-time-high coin ownership. The proportion of wealth held in coins that moved in the last three months is now at an all-time low, and the reciprocal observation is that wealth held by coins older than three months is now at an all-time high.

These high ownership levels signal why we may be seeing a decoupling between US equities and Bitcoin.

At the current price, it is unlikely that entities apart from Bitcoin miners would want or need to sell Bitcoin, whereas given stock market conditions and the negative forecasts from companies reporting earnings, there is perhaps a greater inclination to sell stocks.

The Bitcoin price is down 1% over the past 24 hours, currently trading for US$20,562 (AU$32,022).

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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