Bitcoin’s price briefly crashed 87% and then recovered within the span of a single minute early Thursday on Binance.US, in a fleeting but very real flash crash that the cryptocurrency exchange attributed to a “bug” in an institutional customer’s trading algorithm.
At 11:34 UTC (7:34 a.m. ET), the price fell from around $65,760 to as low as $8,200, then quickly bounced back up to almost exactly where it was before.
“One of our institutional traders indicated to us that they had a bug in their trading algorithm, which appears to have caused the sell-off that was reported this morning,” a Binance.US spokesperson told CoinDesk.
“We are continuing to look into the event but understand from the trader that they have now fixed their bug and that the issue appears to have been resolved,” the spokesperson said, declined to comment on further details about the crash.
On other cryptocurrency exchanges, bitcoin’s price dropped around the same time, but by nowhere near as much. On Bitstamp, for example, the price fell about 2.3% at 11:34 UTC but never got below $63,600.
Omkar Godbole contributed reporting.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.