Bitcoin Flash Crashed to $8.9K on BitMEX

Large sell orders worth $55.49 million drove bitcoin’s price down to $8,900 on BitMEX. The overnight crash was short-lived.

AccessTimeIconMar 19, 2024 at 5:06 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 19, 2024 at 10:53 a.m. UTC
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  • The price crash on BitMEX occurred on the XBT/USD spot market late Monday.
  • BitMEX said on X that it is investigating the large sell orders that caused the flash crash.

Yes, you read the title right. Late Monday, bitcoin (BTC) suffered a brief crash to as low as $8,900 on cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, while prices on other exchanges held well above $60,000.

The slide began at 22:40 UTC, and within two minutes, prices fell to $8,900, the lowest since early 2020, according to data from the charting platform TradingView. The recovery was equally quick, with prices rebounding to $67,000 by 22:50 UTC.

Throughout the boom-bust episode on the BitMEX's spot market, BTC’s global average price was around $67,400.

Some observers on social media platform X allege that whale selling catalyzed the price crash. According to @syq, someone sold over 850 BTC ($55.49 million) on BitMEX, driving the XBT/USDT spot pair down to $8,900.

The BitMEX XBT index tracks bitcoin’s price, while the XBT/USDT pair represents bitcoin’s tether-denominated price. Tether is the world’s leading dollar-pegged stablecoin. While the spot market crashed, BitMEX's billion-dollar derivatives markets held steady.

Following the crash, BitMEX said on social media that it is looking into the large sell orders.

“We launched an investigation as soon as we saw unusual activity on our BTC-USDT Spot Market. All of our systems were operating as normal, but we identified aggressive selling behavior involving a very small number of accounts widely beyond expected market ranges. We can’t comment on any specific behavior of a user or actions taken, and we continue to investigate,” BitMEX said in a statement.

“The trading platform is operating as normal, and all funds are safe,” BitMEX added.

UPDATE (March 19, 07:11 UTC): Updates bullets, adds BitMEX statement.

Edited by Sam Reynolds.

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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.


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