FLASH: Bitcoin (BTC) spiked to its highest marks in nearly 5 months Tuesday, pulling smaller cryptocurrencies up with it, after a major order by a mystery buyer set off computer-driven trading.
The original cryptocurrency soared as much as 20% in Asian trading, breaking $5,000 for the 1st time since mid-November. By mid-afternoon, it had settled around $4,800, +16% in its biggest 1-day gainer since April 2018.
Bitcoin surged to near $20,000 in late Y 2017, the peak driven by retail investors. But last year prices collapsed by 75%, with trading dominated by smaller hedge funds and crypto-related firms.
Today’s gainer was probably triggered by an order worth about $100-M spread across US-based exchanges Coinbase and Kraken and Luxembourg’s Bitstamp.
There was a single order that has been algorithmically-managed across 3 Key venues, of around 20,000 BTC.
Look at the volumes on each of those 3 exchanges they were in-concert, synchronized, units of volume of around 7,000 BTC in an hour.
Crypto analysts could not point to any specific developments that could explain the mystery buyer’s order.
Cryptocurrency markets had until today seen a period of relative calm through the year, with bitcoin trading ranged between $3,300 – 4,200.
Bitcoin’s spike sent smaller cryptocurrencies, known as “altcoins,” trading higher. Ethereum’s ether and Ripple’s XRP, respectively the 2nd and 3rd largest coins, both jumped by more than 10%.
Big institutional investors have stayed on the sidelines. Concern over security breaches and regulatory uncertainty were cited as reasons for the lack of mainstream enthusiasm in digital coins.
In a sign of Bitcoin’s failure to gain an equal footing with conventional markets, Cboe Global Markets, which offered the 1st US Bitcoin futures contracts in Y 2017 said last month it would no longer offer Bitcoin futures contracts.
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