On Sept. 6, Bitcoin (BTC) price crumbled below $20,000 and the asset looks ready to undergo further decline in September due to a strong U.S. dollar and an ominous technical analysis pattern.

Bitcoin eyes $15,000 next

From a technical perspective, Bitcoin risks dropping to $15,000 or below in the coming weeks after breaking out of its prevailing “bear flag” pattern.

For the unversed, bear flags form when the price consolidates higher inside a parallel, ascending range after a strong downtrend. They typically resolve after the price breaks below the lower trendline and falls by as much as the previous downtrend’s length.

BTC/USD daily price chart featuring ‘bull flag’ pattern. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin has entered the so-called breakdown stage of its bear flag pattern, with its downside target lurking south of $15,000, as illustrated in the chart above.

Cash is king

The prospects of a weaker Bitcoin heading further into 2022 are growing mainly because of a worsening economic backdrop.

Bitcoin’s 60% year-to-date price decline is one of the unfortunate consequences of the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy to bring inflation down to 2% from its current 8.5% level. In detail, the U.S. central bank has raised its benchmark rates to the 2.25% – 2.5% range via four consecutive hikes in 2022.

The hikes have boosted the appetite for cash-based securities over riskier assets like Bitcoin.

For instance, U.S. banks with savings accounts offer clients an annual percentage yield of 2% or more from around 0.5% at the start of this year, BankRate.com data shows.

Meanwhile, a Goldman Sachs analysis shows that mutual funds with $2.7 trillion in equity under management have increased their cash holdings by $208 billion in the first half of 2022, the fastest allocation rate to date.

Mutual funds asset rotations noted in HY1/2022. Source: Goldman Sachs

The broader demand for cash has helped the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a pool of top foreign currencies, climb to 110.55 on Sept. 6, its highest level since 2002.

DXY daily price chart. Source: TradingView

As a result, cash has drastically outperformed stocks, Bitcoin, Ethereum, copper, lumber and other assets in 2022.

Related: A range-break from Bitcoin could trigger buying in ADA, ATOM, FIL and EOS this week

This trend may continue, given that the Federal Reserve plans to continue its rate-hiking spree, according to Jerome Powell’s statements at the recent Jackson Hole symposium.