Yesterday’s sudden crash saw the price of Bitcoin (BTC) fall 14% from roughly $9,450 to $8,101 in less than 15 minutes. This appears to have shaken out over-exuberant margin traders who longed near $10,000 on heavy margin.
According to market data aggregator, Cryptometer, over $295 million worth liquidations occurred on BitMEX alone — 98% of which were long positions. By contrast, liquidated shorts totaled $5.7 million.
$290M liquidated on BitMEX in 24 hours
Roughly 93% of yesterday’s liquidations took place in BitMEX’s XBT/USD markets, with Ripple (XRP) liquidations representing 4.1% with $12.3 million, and Ethereum (ETH) margin calls comprising 2.2% with $6.5 million.
XRP and ETH short liquidations represented just 0.02% and 0.22% of the respective markets’ total liquidations.
$10,000 longs suffer heavy losses
The liquidations likely wiped out the longs of many retail investors hoping to cash-in on the upcoming halving. What they may not have considered is that Bitcoin had already gained 150% in less than two months.
Many top cryptocurrency exchanges have contributed to driving hype for the halving in recent weeks, posting articles emphasizing bullish cases for the block reward promotion.
Exchanges drive pre-halving hype
On May 5, Bittrex Global sent an email to its users featuring the subject “Buy More Bitcoin Before the Halving!”. This email notified their mailing list that the exchange had increased its credit card limits “just in time for the Bitcoin halving.” Traders who purchased BTC on May 5 would currently be sitting at break-even after falling into the red during yesterday’s crash.
On May 9, high-leverage derivatives exchange, Bybit, published a report purporting to examine the state of the market pre-halving amid BTC’s retest of the $10,000 area. The report laid out several cases for a bull trend, contrasted by only four sentences offering reasons for why the price may be contained in the short run.
Traders who purchased at $10,000 would be sitting on a 15% loss as of this writing, except for those who purchase with leverage of 5x or greater — who would have been liquidated during the flash crash.