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  • Bitcoin must hold above the critical short-term support at $32,000, giving bulls time to focus on breaking the barriers at $36,000.
  • Ethereum settles in consolidation above $1,000, while its upside is limited under $1,100.
  • Ripple bulls refuse to rest until the seller congestion at $0.3 is dispersed in favor of gains to $0.4.

The cryptocurrency space has incurred significant losses since the breakdown on Monday. CoinMarketCap highlights a mainly red-painted market where only a handful of cryptocurrencies are in the green, such as Polkadot (DOT), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Aave (AAVE) and Synthetix (SNX).

Bitcoin price has managed to hold above the short-term support at $32,000 despite calls for losses stretching to $30,000. Ethereum, the pioneer altcoin, is holding above 1,000 after losing Tuesday’s support at $1,100. Ripple is yet to take down the seller congestion at $0.3, thus delaying the expected breakout to $0.4.

Bitcoin firmly holds the anchor at $32,000

Bitcoin recently explored a higher low at $30,000. However, it recovered, stepping above $36,000. Meanwhile, the bullish momentum was cut short by the 50 Simple Moving Average resistance. A correction ensued, sending Bitcoin on another lower-high hunting mission.

The bellwether cryptocurrency is holding slightly above $34,000 at the time of writing. Its upside is limited at several levels, including $35,000, $36,000 and the 50 SMA. On the downside, several buyer congestion zones have been enacted to mitigate the bearish impact, such as $34,000, $32,000 and the primary support at $30,000.

According to the Relative Strength Index, Bitcoin may settle for consolidation, perhaps with the price ranging between $32,000 and $36,000. A break above $36,000 could curve a clear path to $40,000.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart

BTC/USD 4-hour chart

On the downside, price action underneath $32,000 could see BTC retest $30,000. If more selling orders are triggered and panic grips investors, BTC would be forced to explore how deep the rabbit hole. The 200 SMA is in line to absorb some of the selling pressure at $27,680 (January 4 low).

Ethereum settles for consolidation

Ethereum is at the beginning of a consolidation phase after suffering another rejection at the 50 SMA. On the downside, the 100 SMA provides the largest altcoin with enough support to stay above $1,000.

Ether is exchanging hands at $1,068 even as the RSI reinforces the ongoing sideways price action. As long as this trend indicator remains level, the price will move laterally, awaiting a breakout or a breakdown.

A breakout will come into the picture if ETH/USD regains the ground above $1,100. The ultimate lift to $1,400 will depend on the bulls’ ability to sustain the uptrend beyond the 50 SMA.

ETH/USD 4-hour chart

ETH/USD 4-hour chart

It is worth keeping in mind that a breakdown could well dominate the price following this consolidation. If the bearish leg slices through the short-term anchor at $1,000 and the 100 SMA, Ethereum would be engulfed in massive sell orders, leading to losses back to $900 and the 200 SMA at $800.

Ripple bulls relentlessly battle resistance at $0.3

XRP has not overcome the resistance at $0.3 since the breakdown to $0.25 on Monday. Attempts to rise above this crucial level have continually been quashed. However, the 50 SMA protects XRP from falling to lower levels by providing immediate support.

For now, the least resistance path is crosswise, as accentuated by the RSI’s flattening at the midline. The battle to bring down the hurdle at $0.3 is likely to go on until buyers achieve their immediate goal. Notably, price action above this crucial point will boost XRP toward the 200 SMA, which is currently located at $0.36.

XRP/USD 4-hour chart

XRP/USD 4-hour chart

On the other hand, Ripple is not out of the wounds yet, considering that a daily close under the 50 SMA may call for more sell orders. An increase in overhead pressure due to the selling activity will push XRP/USD back to the buyer congestion zone between $0.26 and $0.25. Further bearish price action is likely to seek refuge at $0.22 and $0.2, in this order.