Traders betting against a rise in cryptocurrencies suffered losses of up to $143 million in the past 12 hours as global markets recovered from Thursday's declines.
Bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and other major cryptocurrencies have added close to 10% in 24 hours, almost regaining Wednesday night’s levels. Bitcoin traded near $38,400 at the time of publication, up from Thursday’s low of $34,725.
The rebound, which started in U.S. morning hours on Thursday, caused over $184 million worth of losses due to liquidations on crypto-tracked futures in the past 12 hours. Some 73% of traders were short the market, or betting against a rise, data from analytics tool Coinglass showed.
Over $52 million of shorts were liquidated on crypto exchange OKX, the most among other crypto futures exchanges, with $23 million stemming from bitcoin-tracked futures alone. Binance followed next, with $25 million in losses from liquidated shorts, with FTX at $16 million.
Overall in the past 12 hours, $89 million of bitcoin-tracked futures were liquidated, $53 million in ether-tracked futures and $5.86 million in futures tracking Terra’s LUNA token.
The losses contributed to a 24-hour total liquidations figure of $405 million. Some 83,000 individual trading accounts suffered losses, with the largest liquidation order occurring on BitMEX for a bitcoin futures trade valued at over $7.95 million.
Rebounds in cryptocurrencies followed similar moves in global markets. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index, which tracks companies in Asia, rose almost 1% on Friday after dropping 3.1% on Thursday. Benchmark equity indexes rose across Europe, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index adding more than 1%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 stock index closed 1.5% higher Thursday as the country tightened sanctions against Russia.
Some analysts say demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could mount in the coming days because they are seen as liquid instruments.
“Right now, the markets have the highest demand for liquid instruments, making bitcoin slightly less of a risk than altcoins,” Alex Kuptsikevich, a senior financial analyst at FxPro, said in an email to CoinDesk. “It is likely that a further deterioration in the financial situation could benefit the first cryptocurrency as a means of capital savings for investors from Ukraine, Russia and some nearby countries."
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