Bitcoin, Ethereum Flash Crash Triggers $800 Million in Liquidations

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Bitcoin continued its crash Thursday afternoon, shedding 7% of its value in 20 minutes and briefly dipping below $26,000 in the process. And as Bitcoin went, so too did other leading cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum—with a cascade of liquidations topping $800 million to follow.

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap is trading for $26,314 as of this writing, according to CoinGecko—a nearly 10% dive for Bitcoin over the last 24 hours. It fell as low as $25,649 this afternoon, but has rebounded slightly since then. The price of Bitcoin hasn’t been this low since the start of June.

Bitcoin’s dive Thursday followed word of China’s sizable Evergrande Group property developer filing for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in New York. Around the same time, word began to spread about a Wall Street Journal report noting that Elon Musk’s SpaceX wrote down the value of its Bitcoin holdings by $373 million and sold an unspecified amount.

The rest of the crypto market was in the red Thursday afternoon Eastern Time, too. Ethereum, the second largest digital asset by market cap, is down nearly 10% in the last day, trading hands for $1,640 as of this writing. It fell as low as $1,576 on Thursday afternoon, per CoinGecko.

Other cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Litecoin (LTC) are all down at least 14% over the past day. All three had seen significant upward price movement in recent weeks.

According to data from Coinglass, the crashing prices across the board triggered a cascade of liquidations for overleveraged positions, with $801 million worth of liquidations tallied in the hour after the price started dropping.

Bitcoin had recently been on a run after a surge of interest from institutional investors—including an application from BlackRock for a spot crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF)—helped propel the biggest and oldest digital asset to a yearly high above $31,000 per coin.

But interest may be waning as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not appear to be in a hurry to approve the long list of high-profile applications. Investors appear eager for a Bitcoin ETF, but regulators have been slow to approve one. Such an investment vehicle does not yet exist in the U.S.

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