The most popular cryptocurrency is struggling to hold above critical support at $23,000 as bulls and bears exchange heavy blows. A minor bounce on Sunday saw Bitcoin price stretch the leg to $23,654, but declines quickly caught up with BTC and snuffed out the bullish spark.

Regulatory Pressure Stifiles Bitcoin Price Rally

Although investor confidence is still in a dilapidated state, the largest crypto is up 0.64% in 24 hours to trade at $23,391. The crypto market has been held down by mounting regulatory pressure from the United States, Hong Kong, India, and even the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The collapse of FTX exchange in November has triggered increased regulatory oversight in the US, with Kraken being the latest victim to cough $30 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for not registering its staking-as-a-service program.

The SEC has vowed to go after centralized platforms offering staking to retail investors. Some experts fear regulators could ban staking altogether. Meanwhile, the managing director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, said amidst the G20 meeting in India that the oversight body is leaning toward supporting crypto regulations as opposed to imposing a total ban.

Reports from the G20 summit in India are eliciting conflicting interests among the members. The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das has once again made headlines, saying that some member countries are considering a total ban on digital currencies.

Where Is Bitcoin Price Headed This Week?

As the world mulls crypto regulations, Bitcoin price is having a challenge holding onto the progress made from early January, considering it is on its second weekly red candle since the 2023 peak of $25,340.

BTC price will need the support of both the macro and micro environments to stage another recovery. Therefore, support at $23,00 is vital for the resumption of the uptrend. If broken, Bitcoin price down leg may have to seek support in the lower yellow band, as illustrated on the weekly time frame chart.

BTC/USD weekly chart

A bullish outlook is possible if a buy signal from the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator is taken into consideration. In other words, some investors may ignore the pullback and instead focus on buying more BTC. Increasing demand for the pioneer cryptocurrency would contribute to the much-anticipated rebound.

Michaël van de Poppe on Twitter: “Scenario I´d be looking at, right now for #Bitcoin. Rejecting at crucial $23.8K level would indicate that we´ll be having another test of the support. If that sweep happens and we reclaim, $25K test is inevitable and longs are triggered.” / Twitter

On the upside, bulls must focus on weakening a confluence resistance at $24,682 – formed in collaboration with the 50-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) (line in red) and the 200-day EMA (line in purple). A break and hold above this hurdle would have removed the biggest stumbling block for gains to $28,000.

As Bitcoin price fights for a breakout, investors should follow key data releases this week that will likely impact performance. According to Walter Bloomberg, Tuesday’s Consumer Confidence report and the Purchasing and Managers Index (PMI) scheduled for Wednesday and Friday might have a significant impact on the crypto market.

(3) *Walter Bloomberg on Twitter: “Scheduled Economic Releases for Week of February 27, 2023” / Twitter

A drop in consumer sentiment is expected to result in a loose monetary policy, which would, in turn, increase consumer spending on durable goods. On the other hand, a spike in consumer confidence would translate to a stricter monetary policy.

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