Bitcoin (BTC) returning to a bull market depends on whether “cryptocultists” have already exited the market, veteran trader Peter Brandt has warned.

In a tweet on Jan. 8, Brandt, who has become a regular Bitcoin pundit in recent years, confirmed he was eyeing current price activity to determine the likely next move.

Brandt: Bitcoin needs “cryptocultist shakeout”

BTC/USD gained 5.5% in the 24 hours to press time, retaking $8,000 in a move many previously considered highly unlikely. 

Whether momentum continues, Brandt says, is nonetheless down to the composition of the market, as well as technical indicators.

On the topic of whether a bull market began this week, he summarized:

“If enough cryptocultists have been shaken out since Dec '17, then ‘yes.’ If not, then ‘no.’”

Uploading supporting charts, Brandt highlighted three characteristics that hinted at a bullish upturn for Bitcoin. These included BTC/USD remaining within a multiyear channel and not falling through the bottom of it, as well as preparing to break the ceiling of a different, six-month channel.

Asked whether he thought it was “too early” for a fresh bull run due to investors anticipating lower prices first, meanwhile, Brandt responded:

“I think exactly the opposite. If there are many waiting, then they may wait forever.”

A trip below $3,000?

The sober approach to possible further gains echoes Brandt’s more bearish stance from earlier. In December, he forecast BTC/USD dropping to $5,500 by July 2020, two months after Bitcoin’s block reward halving. 

Other grave warnings included a Bitcoin price of just $2,760, an 80% retraction against 2019’s highs near $14,000.

His predictions have often been accurate — in 2017, he successfully called the Bitcoin market top at around $20,000 before the 2018 bear market kicked in. 

There was no word on altcoins, investors in which Brandt similarly called “cryptomaniacs” in July. At the time, he claimed any major appreciation in Bitcoin would be unlikely to spill over into altcoin markets. Bitcoin’s market share subsequently increased by around 4%.