December 19 12:13 2018

CAPITULATION is still the word on everyone’s lips in the crypto world

When will it be? How low will it go? How high will it bounce back? What happens afterwards?

It is generally accepted that capitulation will occur. Generally.

By Brian Carlson,  from , shared under the 
CC BY-SA 2.0 license ; modified by Bit Brain


I’ve blogged about capitulation. Only two days ago I predicted that capitulation is imminent! But I must be honest – I have my reservations.

A word of warning

It is all to easy for traders/investors/analysts to become confused at times like this. The hype that price increases causes is a dangerous thing!  Let me state this, and state it very clearly: IN ALL LIKELIHOOD THE CURRENT MARKET POSITIVITY IS PROBABLY JUST A DEAD CAT BOUNCE / BULL TRAP. IT WILL NOT LAST AND CAPITULATION WILL STILL OCCUR. Okay, with that out of the way.

Let us now entertain the “but perhaps…” scenario.

I don’t like capitulation

The very idea of it has never sat well with me: “the market must dive down to rock bottom before it can climb again”. Okay, fine – but WHY?

Since my previous capitulation post I have been asking myself that question over and over again.

As I remarked in a reply to a comment on my last capitulation post:

Ironically I still don’t see the need for a capitulation event – perhaps I need to do more research into market psychology.

So I have been digging around trying to get to the truth behind this potential capitulation event. This post is about what I’ve found (at least so far).

An alternative pattern

Instead of the sharp down/up capitulation event which is generally expected, perhaps capitulation can take another form. 

I think that it is plausible that Bitcoin (and by extension cryptocurrencies – true throughout the rest of this post too) may possibly be in the process of creating the rather rare reversal pattern known as a “Rounding Bottom”. A Rounding Bottom would look something like the yellow/green line from this chart:  (from this post last Friday) 

Made by Bit Brain with TradingView

Because it is a relatively unfamiliar pattern, here is a link to the Investopedia article on it. Give it a quick read and tell me what you think of this possibility:

Strictly speaking this isn’t “capitulation”, though seen in the broader context and including the BTC fall from the long-held $6000 level, you could argue it either way.

Capitulation already happened and most people missed it

I acknowledge how silly this may sound initially, but hear me out. Bitcoin has dropped in value from about $20000 to about $3200 within a year. That is AN 84% DROP IN VALUE. Ask yourself: What do you expect of capitulation? Do you realistically expect a greater drop than that? 

I can help you there too: take an old favourite of mine – NEO. From about $195 to $5.50 in exactly 11 months. That leaves NEO worth ONLY 2.82% of what it once was! And you STILL want more “capitulation”?

Many of my alts look like NEO, some even worse! Our once proud $835 BILLION cryptocurrency market became a $100 billion market – only 12% of its once total worth. In any other asset class we wouldn’t just call that “capitulation” – we’d call it “obliteration” and cease trading it altogether!

…and then the market bounced off long-term support on 15 December…

Did you see it?

I warned you in The time to CAPITULATE is NOW! that very long-term support was a hair’s breadth below the trading price of BTC

“we can see on the chart below just how close that is – we are practically at that level now!”

“It is highly likely that a capitulation even can and will now occur at any time.”

“It will probably take only the smallest of catalysts to set it in motion.”

A catalyst like the “one year since BTC peaked at $20000” event…

Here is the picture I included in that post:

Made by Bit Brain with TradingView

I had tried in that post to get the trendlines as accurate as possible, difficult due to the long time periods. Fortunately I kept those chart constructions, so I can show you a (zoomed in) version of what that chart looks like today and just how close we got to my long term capitulation event trendline: 

Made by Bit Brain with TradingView.

80 dollars. That’s all we missed it by. Taken from a point of origin almost 4 years back (see the linked post for a full diagram), that’s well within the margin of error and the limits of TA accuracy!

So if we can accept that we don’t have to have a sharp dip-and-bounce capitulation event, then perhaps we can accept that the time for capitulation already passed us earlier this week…


When prices started climbing on the weekend, volume did not. I immediately dismissed the climb as insignificant, BUT, then volume DID start to climb on Monday. Late yesterday it wavered a little, and then resumed climbing. It’s basically doubled in three days! That’s significant!

Bitcoin volume over the last four days. From

Altcoin volume over the last four days. From

TA vs FA

We can’t rely on a large capitulation dip just because TA says it happened before, or because such events are often visible parts of the market cycle. Once again we must ask – from an FA perspective – do we need to capitulate now? TA should have little to do with that assessment. I think @newageinv  (he’s a great blogger, read this for instance) said it best when he commented on my most recent post

“I like to think of fundamental analysis as to why to invest and technical analysis as when…”

The “why” applies just as much to capitulation as to investment.

I can’t deny the evidence is stacking against me

Arguing in favour of a capitulation event last Saturday (That was not a Bitcoin Double Bottom), I published this chart:

Made by Bit Brain with TradingView

Perhaps unfortunately for me, I kept that exact chart construction in TradingVIew for follow-up analysis. This is what it looks like today:

Made by Bit Brain with TradingView

Whoopsie daisy! BTC did exactly what I said it would not! Which implies that this was a double bottom – a reversal pattern.

Now that doesn’t automatically negate what I said in the post, the reversal may only be short-term, but it does go against what I expected and it has climbed two or three levels higher since then.

Once again: note that a Dead Cat Bounce does explain this scenario – so be careful!

Market expectation

At the end of the day the markets always come down to market expectation: what do the traders expect the market to do.

Every market is really just a self-fulfilling prophecy: People expect prices to rise – people buy – so prices rise; and vice versa. I feel that the market IS expecting a capitulation event, BUT in the highly unpredictable, young and exciting world of crypto, things can change very fast and in unusual ways. A few whales can also easily sway the entire market – made all the more possible by the relatively small volumes required to affect a crypto market, especially when crypto prices are so cheap!

The important thing to remember with market expectation is this: while it leads the market, it can change very suddenly! Just look at how rapidly it changed from bullish to bearish in December 2017/January 2018!


I’m still expecting a capitulation event – for now. I’m open to the possibility of there not being one and that it isn’t necessary for the market to have one. I think it is possible that a “soft” capitulation may already have occurred. But until we have further confirmation – I assume the current uptrend to be a Dead Cat Bounce.

Yours in capitulated crypto

Bit Brain

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About Article Author

Bit Brain
Bit Brain

A walking crypto encyclopedia. Honest, Realistic, Opinionated. Futurist, Autodidact, Polymath.

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