Over the past few hours, Bitcoin investors across the world have had to deal with a shocking move; the cryptocurrency, after holding around $7,800 to $8,100 for three days, suddenly fell off a proverbial cliff, falling as low as $5,600. This meant that at today’s worse, BTC was down 25% on the day.
The price of altcoins suffered similarly, and, in some cases, fell even more than the market leader. Case in point: per data from CoinMarketCap, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Binance Coin, Tezos, and many other cryptocurrencies are down 30% in the past day.
While it isn’t clear if this is the end for the cryptocurrency downtrend is over, Bitcoin is seemingly attempting to stabilize around $6,000 — a price level that acted as crucial support during 2018’s bear market, for when it was broken, the cryptocurrency slid by 50% to $3,100.
Due to this rapid move lower, many traders were caught with their pants down, so to say.
Namely, according to Skew.com, over $660 million worth of Bitcoin longs on BitMEX were liquidated. This is one of the biggest days of liquidations for the cryptocurrency market in history, only beat by the capitulation at the end of 2018, per data from Skew.
Also, $21 million worth of decentralized finance loans were liquidated, presumably through MakerDAO’s CDP system, resulting in a large loss in Ethereum.
DeFi liqs getting big pic.twitter.com/4DnCgwbNxh
— Josh Olszewicz (@CarpeNoctom) March 12, 2020
What’s Pushing Crypto Lower?
Few know all the intricacies of this complex market, but there are some leading theories as to why the prices of the cryptocurrencies are dropping so far so fast.
The leading theory is that Bitcoin is falling in tandem with the traditional markets. Over the past few weeks, the stock markets of the world have been performing extremely poorly, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones shedding 25% from the all-time high established just weeks ago.
Despite the “digital gold” narrative that has been spreading, BTC has been dropping along with the stock market, falling in line with everything else.
As explained in a recent Blockonomi post, former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal explained that due to the increase in risk and volatility in the stock market, hedge funds and institutional investors have been forced to sell their positions:
It feels like any hedge fund that was long bitcoin is having to liquidate. VAR takes no prisoners. (For those new to VAR it is the measure of risk in a portfolio and is connected to volatility, so as vol goes up of all assets, they have to reduce risk).
There have also been theories about how Bitcoin miners and the PlusToken cryptocurrency scam have affected the price of the cryptocurrency.
What Comes Next For Bitcoin?
While the move has killed much of the bullish sentiment around Bitcoin, some remain optimistic about the prospects of the cryptocurrency.
Charlie Morris, CEO of cryptocurrency analytics firm ByteTree who last week warned investors that Bitcoin may soon see some weakness, recently argued that now might be the “least risky” time to buy Bitcoin.
Indeed, citing his company’s statistic of “Fair Value,” derived through the Network Value to Transactions ratio and the transaction value, he found that BTC’s Fair Value is currently at $6,400, meaning that it was dramatically undervalued when it traded at $5,600 an hour ago:
“With $18bn of weekly spend, the network is thriving. As for valuation, it is back to fair value. This is the “least risky” time to buy bitcoin! It doesn’t get much better than this.”
The two big risks in #bitcoin that concern me are valuation and the network. With $18bn of weekly spend, the network is thriving. As for valuation, it is back to fair value. This is the "least risky" time to buy bitcoin! It doesn't get much better than this. pic.twitter.com/TInkLHLre3
— Charlie Morris (@AtlasPulse) March 12, 2020
Also, Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, explained in a newsletter published today that he expects the price of BTC to make a “nice run back through $10,000 towards $20,000 by year end,” citing central bank policy.