- In just minutes, prices fell by around $1,400 from over $12,000 to sub-$10,700 levels Sunday.
- The rapid fall crowded out over $1 billion in bullish leverage from the futures market.
- Yet, as the cryptocurrency declined, users withdrew more coins from exchanges than they deposited, suggesting holders were not spooked by the big mover lower.
- Cryptocurrency exchanges witnessed a net outflow of 4,264 BTC on Sunday, marking a sharp rise from Saturday's figure of 436 BTC, according to data provided by the blockchain intelligence firm Glassnode.
- Investors tend to pull funds out from exchanges when they expect a sustained price rally and move their coins to exchanges when they want to liquidate their holdings; for example, before an expected price drop.
- As such, Sunday's data would suggest that investors shrugged off the crash having confidence in bitcoin’s long-term prospects.
- Sunday's flash crash is rumored to have been caused by an Asian whale, or big trader, who took profit on a long position after prices hit $12,000 amid thin volumes.
- The resulting small price drop is said to have set off a chain reaction of forced unwindings of long positions by exchanges, rapidly leading to the bigger decline.
- At the time of writing, bitcoin is back up near $11,200 – still up nearly 56% on a year-to-date basis.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.