Monday, Aug. 26 — Bitcoin (BTC) prices temporarily passed $10,500 as the largest cryptocurrency started the week in a bullish mood.

Market visualization

Market visualization. Source: Coin360

Margin traders to blame for price volatility?

Data from Coin360 revealed an abrupt change from sideways trading over the weekend, with Bitcoin gaining hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes on Monday. 

Having lingered either side of $10,000 for the past three days, BTC/USD suddenly shot up to more than $10,600 on some exchanges before settling at about $10,350.

The latest action brings Bitcoin back to its position at last week’s open, while monthly returns for investors have also come almost full circle to stand at roughly 2.7%.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Looking forward, analysts and commentators were buoyant once more after a week of uncertainty. 

“Bitcoin is a coiled spring about to explode higher,” RT host and regular Bitcoin bull, Max Keiser, tweeted about the price potential.

Keiser had previously claimed multiple times that the Bitcoin price was due to grow in line with increasing network performance. Specifically, he highlighted mining metrics as a hint markets were about to expand. 

Others were attempting to explain why BTC/USD had begun gaining and losing several hundred dollars within minutes at irregular intervals.

One theory revolved around margin trading — the increasingly popular tool offered by major exchanges such as Binance and, most notably, BitMEX.

As the Twitter account known as Squeeze noted, a deluge of margin calls produces just the form of price action on markets which had previously baffled some. 

“The effect of cascading margin calls and stop loss triggers causing $300 slippage between XBT perpetual swaps on Bitmex vs Spot BTC,” a tweet on Monday said.

Lifeless altcoins stay trading sideways

On altcoin markets meanwhile, Bitcoin’s shoot higher failed to produce copycat moves for most assets. 

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin by standard market cap, gained only 0.5% compared with Bitcoin’s 2.7% over the past 24 hours. 

Warnings had surfaced last week that ETH/USD was due for another major correction.

Ether 7-day price chart

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP produced almost identical gains, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) fared slightly better, moving up 2.2% and 1.2% respectively. 

Other tokens in the top 20 produced sideways moves. 

The overall cryptocurrency market cap stood at $269 billion on Monday, with Bitcoin accounting for 68.8% of the total.

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