Bitcoin/Euro Suffers Flash Crash on Coinbase

The tumble occurred shortly after bitcoin hit a record high of $69,325.

AccessTimeIconMar 5, 2024 at 6:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:41 p.m. UTC
  • Bitcoin took 10 minutes to return to parity with euro trading pairs on other exchanges.
  • Flash crashes are typically attributed to a lack of liquidity or a "fat finger" trade.

Bitcoin (BTC) lost 23.7% of its value against the euro on Coinbase (COIN) Tuesday during the period of high volatility that followed the crypto's surging to a record U.S. dollar high of $69,325.

BTC momentarily plunged to €48,529 from €60,000 on Coinbase, while on Kraken, for instance, the price only went as low as €58,400. The reason for the flash crash remains unclear and it took 10 minutes for the price to rebound back to parity with other exchanges.

Flash crashes can typically be attributed to a few scenarios, one of which is a lack of liquidity, i.e., the amount of market sell orders was too high for the amount of resting buy orders on the order book and the price thus needing to sink to the nearest point of adequate bids.

Another reason, as seen during a flash crash on Binance.US in 2021, is a bug or mistake made by a trader or algorithm, often called a "fat finger" trade.

The disparity between euro trading pairs occurred shortly after bitcoin surged to a new record high in U.S. dollar terms of $69,325 and within minutes reversed those gains, sliding to below $64,000 at one point.

Coinbase did not immediately respond to CoinDesk's request for comment.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.