Bitcoin May Fall Further
Bitcoin (BTC) has just seen its craziest hour of price action since the weekend, during which the cryptocurrency market rallied by 20%, if not more. For those who missed the memo, or haven’t checked the charts or Crypto Twitter in a hot second, Bitcoin collapsed by over 15% in minutes on major markets, falling from $7,800 to $6,200. Interestingly, however, most of the downturn was contained to Bitstamp, a Europe-centric exchange, as there existed a $500 to $600 spread between its BTC/USD pair and the same pair on Coinbase. Since our report on the matter, BTC has recovered to $7,300, and has begun to trade in a range.
While there was a strong recovery on the back of volumes, some are fearful that this flash crash dealt irreversible technical damages on the crypto asset charts. Speaking to MarketWatch, Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at Forex.com, explained that this move confirms that the cryptocurrency market is susceptible to such volatility spikes, which are a common sight in nascent markets.
He goes on to stay that Bitcoin remains “extremely ‘overbought’ in the short-term,” and may need to correct (even further), or at least consolidate, before posting further gains. The fact of the matter is, with this move, BTC rapidly spiked under its parabolic trend higher, which was somewhat expected, and lost its footing at some key support levels.
On the fundamental side, some are sure that this crash confirms that BTC remains very illiquid and malleable to manipulation, thereby hurting how retail investors and institutional investors alike see cryptocurrency.
Why This Move Isn’t Bearish Per Se
Some are sure that this isn’t bearish per se though.
Evidence is mounting that a single actor, or group of entities, catalyzed this move with mere clicks of their mouses. As recently noted by Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester, the rapid collapse was led by serious sell orders on Bitstamp. Some have suggested that this was in a bid to manipulate the value of the BitMEX’s perpetual swap for Bitcoin, specifically in an attempt to liquidate the millions of dollars of shorts racking up over recent days and weeks.
As Three Arrows Capital’s Su Zhu suggests, someone tried to exploit BitMEX’s mark price by placing a large sell order on Bitstamp, which the former exchange draws data from to determine its index. Order book history seemingly corroborates this theory, as an entity placed a massive 2,000 BTC sell order at $6,500 on Bitstamp, seemingly in a bid to depress the price for a short period of time. The fact that Bitcoin rapidly bounced back is bullish. And as Ari Paul of BlockTower adds, during the dip, not a single person in a room of 30 crypto-centric investors and “people” batted an eye. If that doesn’t say much about the sentiment of cryptocurrency investors at the moment, we’re not too sure what else will.
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