In an effort to pin Bitcoin’s price drop on anything other than sellers overpowering buyers, mainstream and cryptocurrency-focused media have been eager to blame Coinrail — an irrelevant and incredibly minor cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea. However, the hack of Coinrail is not to blame for the flash crash. Market manipulators and panic sellers are.
After a prolonged period of sideways trading, market makers in the cryptocurrency space decided to slice a $42 billion chunk off the total market capitalization over the weekend. Bitcoin is now down more than 50 percent on the year.
The vast majority of mainstream and cryptocurrency-focused media has pinned the collapse on the low-profile hack of Coinrail — a borderline irrelevant exchange ranked 90th by trade volume that most readers had never previously heard of.
Coinrail is not to blame. Panic sellers are.
Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda Corp. in Singapore, agrees, telling Bloomberg:
This is ‘If it can happen to A, it can happen to B and it can happen to C,’ then people panic because someone is selling. The markets are so thinly traded, primarily by retail accounts, that these guys can get really scared out of positions. It actually doesn’t take a lot of money to move the market significantly.
Low liquidity is indeed one of the cryptocurrency market’s biggest problems, as it allows as little as one account to dramatically manipulate the price of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, by throwing around 1000 BTC, sparking a wave of panic selling from individuals who honestly believe there has been some fundamental change in the cryptocurrency itself.
More likely than not, the current decline in Bitcoin’s price is merely a move from unchecked market manipulators who can, for all intents and purposes, drive down the price at the push of a button. Those same accounts can easily drive it right back up — as seen on April 12, when the price of bitcoin shot up over $1000 in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, a trip to the r/CryptoCurrency subreddit on popular social media website Reddit indeed shows mass despair as more and more traders get shaken out of the market.
One post from u/shootermgavin_crypto titled “I’m Done” reads:
It’s been emotional ladies and germans but I am officially tapping out.
Will leave 5k in this sh!tshow and see where it goes but the trading…no more, can’t do it. Don’t have the emotional fortitude.
God speed sailors
u/shootermgavin_crypto isn’t alone. With each manipulative red candle, big-money investors continue to explore just how low they can buy bitcoin while retail traders lose all hope.
Do you think the hack of Coinrail is to blame, or do you agree that it’s as simple as sellers overpowering buyers? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of CoinMarketCap.com.