Ether Sees Higher Liquidations Than Bitcoin After Falling Under $3.2K

Nearly $160 million in ether long positions were liquidated.

AccessTimeIconJan 7, 2022 at 10:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 7, 2022 at 4:18 p.m. UTC

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

Traders racked up $182 million in losses on ether-tracked futures products in the past 24 hours, according to data from analytics tools Coinglass. That is $14 million higher than bitcoin-tracked futures, which usually see the largest liquidations in the crypto market, during a comparable period.

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

Over 87% of the total $182 million in losses came from long positions, while only $22 million worth of short positions were liquidated. The majority of the liquidations occurred on crypto exchange OKEx, which saw almost $79 million in losses, followed by FTX at $27.6 million.

Longs are futures positions that bet on rising prices of their underlying assets. Shorts, on the other hand, are futures trades that bet on declining prices.

Ether lost its $3,300 support level in early Asian trading hours on Friday, plunging to as low as $3,113 before briefly gaining over $90 at the time of writing. Friday’s drop was a continuation of a market-wide decline that started on Wednesday. The U.S. Federal Reserve released the minutes of its December meeting that signaled a tightening of financial policies and caused a sell-off in risky assets.

The relative strength index (RSI) reached oversold levels again on Friday after briefly venturing out of that zone on Thursday night. RSI is a technical tool used to measure the magnitude of price movements, and oversold levels imply assets might be undervalued after a price correction.

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Ether lost a major support level on Friday. (TradingView)

Ether failed to break over and hold above the $4,000 price level in December, implying a weakening market at the time.

Among the major sellers in the past two months was the Ethereum Foundation, a nonprofit that oversees development on the Ethereum network. The foundation moved 20,000 ethers, worth over $90 million at the time, from its cold wallet to crypto exchange Kraken in November, which may have contributed to some of the selling pressure in the past two months.

CORRECTION (Jan. 7, 10:36 UTC): Corrects dollar amount figure in the last paragraph.

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

CoinDesk - Unknown

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