Ether Drops to $3.8K as Over $12.5M in Futures Get Liquidated

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap saw the most futures liquidation during early Asian hours.

Dec 20, 2021 at 7:22 a.m. UTC
Updated Dec 20, 2021 at 6:09 p.m. UTC

Ether saw a volatile session in early Asian hours on Monday even as the broader market slightly declined, according to data from analytics tool Coinglass.

Prices fell nearly $100 to $3,840, a 3% drop in 24 hours, following a muted weekend and a slight slide in top cryptocurrencies on Monday.

Ether tokens saw a sudden drop this morning and washed out overleveraged positions. (TradingView)

However, the relatively small price movements saw traders take on a big hit. Some $12.7 million worth of ether futures were liquidated on Monday morning alone, double the $6 million figure of bitcoin liquidations.

Coinglass analytics showed $11.9 million worth of liquidations originated from ‘long’ traders, or those borrowing from exchanges to bet on higher ether prices. Ninety-two percent of all traders were long ether Monday morning, and 50% of the liquidations took place on crypto exchange OKEx, which accounted for over $4.9 million in liquidations.

Liquidations occur when an exchange forcefully closes a trader’s leveraged position as a safety mechanism due to a partial or total loss of the trader’s initial margin. These happen primarily in futures trading, which only tracks asset prices, as opposed to spot trading, where traders own the actual assets.

Elsewhere, prices of XRP jumped 10% from $0.82 to $0.91 during Asian hours. Traders took profits at those levels and prices then retracted to $0.87 in early European hours.

The volatility saw liquidations reach $2 million in Asian hours. No immediate fundamental updates for XRP were released on Sunday night or Monday morning that could have contributed to the move.

The Monday morning session saw $40 million in liquidations overall, contributing to over $152 million in liquidations over the past 24 hours. Crypto markets saw a slide in early Asian hours following reports of bond defaults and weakening privatization of real estate in China.

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Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.