The bitcoin price plunged by more than $1,300 in minutes during a flash crash on bitcoin exchange Bitfinex but has since recovered above $10,800.
At approximately 10:09 ET, the bitcoin jumped to a one-hour high of $11,399, which placed it just below the all-time high of $11,441 it had set at 9:13. Apparently — after observing resistance at $11,500 — a whale had set $11,400 as his or her target exit vector because at 10:11, the candle turned red, and three minutes later, this trader unleashed a massive market sell order.
This sell order caused the bitcoin price careen down to $10,075, representing a decline of $1,324 — or 12 percent of bitcoin’s total value — in just four minutes. For reference, the bitcoin price did not even reach $1,324 until May 1 of this year.
Following the flash crash, the bitcoin price quickly rebounded above $10,900, but it was unable to crack the $11,000 mark and quickly fell into decline. At 10:40, the bitcoin price reached a bottom at $10,262, at which point it began to recover. By the time of writing, the bitcoin price was once again trading near $11,000 on Bitfinex.
Part of the reason for bitcoin’s resilience — even as some traders have clearly begun to take profits from this week’s parabolic movement — could be the news that Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, intends to list bitcoin futures contracts by the second quarter of 2018.
Bitcoin had already been trading up in anticipation of the launch of bitcoin futures on Chicago-based CME, the world’s largest derivatives exchange. CME’s decision had been criticized by many prominent financial analysts, so the fact that Nasdaq will list this product signals that it will likely become a mainstream financial instrument sooner rather than later.
The Nasdaq announcement also throws a wrinkle into the conventional wisdom that the bitcoin price would see a correction following its ascent to $10,000, a psychologically-significant — if arbitrary — barrier that many long-term investors had been anticipating for years.
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Last modified: May 20, 2020 9:22 PM UTC