Cryptocurrencies continue to face a turbulent week after Bitcoin dipped below $43,000 on Thursday, further worsening a situation that has been at play for over 2 months.
In the past 24 hours, the total value of crypto futures liquidated went past $530 million according to Coinglass as Bitcoin fell further from $43,000 to $41,695. During the sell-off, over 135,301 traders were liquidated with the single largest liquidation order happening on Bybit where a single entity yielded $5 million worth of ETH.
Losses by Bitcoin traders alone exceeded $332 million with 87% of the affected positions being caught up long.
Smaller Coins Slip, But Exhibit Strength
Ethereum also took the heat and is down 14.36% since Wednesday open and is currently trading around $3,175 although sitting squarely on the 200 SMA.
However, unlike previous times when smaller coins end up enduring the biggest losses during such onslaughts, often recording as high as 35% in losses, the pack exhibited unprecedented strength this time.
According to CoinMarketCap, the largest top-coin loser in the last 24 hours is down 18.92% with most coins falling in the 13% loss range.
FED’s Hawkish Minutes Shrink Markets
Since tapping an all-time high in early November, Bitcoin price has been on the decline falling into what experts now call an extended sell-off. At reporting time, the coin’s greed and fear indicator have fallen back to “extreme fear”, a factor that is further exacerbated by various factors including the Omicron strain and regulatory headwinds.
Experts have argued that Wednesday’s selloff is a result of traders’ hawkish outlook on markets after minutes from the FED’s December meeting showed that officials had decided to shrink the swollen $8.3 trillion balance sheet ahead of a possible interest rate hike in March.
“I have been telling people to be careful in crypto for a while as the deleveraging in the stockmarket was unavoidable as the fed tampers, hikes, and reduces their balance sheet. Blows my mind how analysts did not see this coming,” said InTheMoneyStocks President & CFO Gareth Soloway.
Hoping For The Best, Preparing For The Worst
With Bitcoin down 38% since hitting an all-time high, experts are now counting on various support levels that could prove crucial to price turning around despite harboring bearish sentiments in the short term.
According to Gareth, Bitcoin’s price is carving out a bearish head and shoulder pattern which could see the coin lose more if the $42,000 neckline is ultimately broken.
Bitcoin maximalists are however downplaying the possibility of a head shoulder pattern which if invalidated, could see BTC slump to around $14,000.
That said, Bitcoin has often proved the world wrong with price-pulling unexpected moves. According to Veteran Chartist Peter Brandt, “A chart pattern is NOT a chart pattern until it is completed and confirmed,” hence the more reason to keep away from jumping to conclusions before validation.