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Bitcoin Price Tumbles in Flash Crash — Bitmex Glitch or Malicious Move?

Last Updated March 19, 2024 3:47 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 19, 2024 3:47 PM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin’s price took a nosedive to $8,900 on the BitMEX exchange on Monday evening.
  • Social media speculation and reports suggest a large sell order, possibly exceeding 850 BTC, by a major player,.
  • The exchange itself is investigating unusual trading activity and aggressive selling behavior.

Late Monday, Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a sudden crash  to $8,900 on the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX.

Meanwhile, its price on other exchanges remained stable, well above $60,000.

BTC Briefly Tumbles to $8,900 on BitMEX in Suspected Whale Sell-Off

The downturn  started at 22:40 UTC, leading to Bitcoin prices plummeting to $8,900 within two minutes, marking the lowest level since early 2020. By 22:50 UTC, the price had swiftly recovered to $67,000. Despite this dramatic fluctuation on BitMEX, Bitcoin’s global average price hovered around $67,400 during the entire episode.

BTC fall
Credit: TradingView

Observers on Twitter have suggested the price crash was triggered by significant selling by a whale. A user, @syq , reported that an individual sold more than 850 BTC (valued at around $55.49 million) on BitMEX. As a result, the XBT/USDT spot pair to plummeted to $8,900.

BitMEX didn’t want to comment on this particular issue.

BitMEX Probes Suspected Bitcoin Sell-Off After Price Crash

The BitMEX XBT index reflects the price of Bitcoin, and the XBT/USDT pair indicates Bitcoin’s price in terms of Tether, the foremost dollar-pegged stablecoin globally. After the price crash, BitMEX announced its intention to investigate the significant sell orders.

According to the statement :

“We launched an investigation as soon as we saw unusual activity on our BTC-USDT Spot Market. All of our systems were operating as normal, but we identified aggressive selling behavior involving a very small number of accounts widely beyond expected market ranges. We can’t comment on any specific behavior of a user or actions taken, and we continue to investigate. The trading platform is operating as normal, and all funds are safe.”

Bitcoin Pullback After Record High, Altcoins Show Strength

In a recent analysis shared with CCN, Bitfinex highlighted that Bitcoin experienced a significant retreat, dropping over 12.5 percent from a new all-time peak of $73,666 on March 14th.

This pullback, one of the most substantial since the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs in early January, coincides with a period of unprecedented inflows into these ETFs, including a record-breaking day of over a billion dollars last week. However, a recent stabilization in these inflows has prompted a moment of reflection in the market. There’s anticipation for a phase of seeking equilibrium following the initial wave of enthusiasm, with the forthcoming week’s flow data poised to reveal traditional finance investors’ sentiment towards Bitcoin, especially in response to the recent sharp downturns.

Meanwhile, the altcoin sector has maintained remarkable stability during Bitcoin’s fluctuations. The Total3 index , which tracks a broader range of cryptocurrencies excluding Bitcoin, hit a new cycle high, signaling increased investment flows into altcoins. This resilience is underscored by significant investments into Ethereum and other blockchain projects, even as Ethereum’s performance relative to Bitcoin has been lackluster.

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