The price of Bitcoin fell below $60,000 on Wednesday as euphoria dissipated over the first-ever Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) and traders sold their assets after the world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency hit an all-time high a week earlier.
About $800 million worth of leveraged positions were liquidated at crypto exchanges — the most since Sept. 20, according to data from crypto futures trading platform Bybt.com.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency was trading at $58,883.48 after reaching almost $67,000 last week. Ethereum fell from a record $4,300 to $4,000. Dogecoin fell more than 10 percent and Solana fell more than 8 percent. Cardano lost 11.5 percent, according to Coinmarketcap.com. Some smaller “alt” coins got hit hardest.
Analysts said that speculators are cutting back on positions after enthusiasm over the launch of the first U.S. Bitcoin ETF pushed prices to record highs, according to a Bloomberg report.
Traders often sell their assets when Bitcoin and other cryptos reach record highs, iNews reported.
“Estimated leverage ratio is about to hit a year-high,” Ki Young Ju, CEO of data analytics firm CryptoQuant, told CoinDesk. “It seems obvious that the market is over-leveraged now. We’ll see some volatility with huge liquidations.”
The sell-off has been exacerbated by the fact that there is much more leverage available in crypto for retail traders globally than there is in other asset classes, said Stephane Ouellette, CEO and co-founder of FRNT Financial Inc., a crypto-focused capital-markets platform.
A Yahoo News article breaks down the basics of liquidation like this: Investors are generating significant profits trading crypto through the use of derivatives products such as margin trading and futures. Derivatives are contracts based on the price of an underlying asset and allow people to bet on the asset’s future price. Margin trading involves increasing the amount of money you have to trade with by borrowing funds from a crypto exchange. This allows investors to increase the size of their trading positions, also known as “leverage.”
The exchange will require you to put up an amount of crypto as collateral – known as an “initial margin” – in order to open a trading position. This is like a form of insurance for the exchange in case the trade goes against the borrower. Liquidation happens when an exchange forcefully closes a trader’s leveraged position due to a partial or total loss of the trader’s initial margin. It happens when a trader has insufficient funds to keep the trade open.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?