Bitcoin tumbled 9 percent in a half-hour on Tuesday, sending prices to the lowest in three months, in a rapid selloff even by the tumultuous standards of the cryptocurrency markets.
As of 21:50, BTC was trading around $8,600, down from a high of $9,812 over the previous 24 hours.
“Even for bitcoin, this is a pretty rare event,” said Qiao Wang, director of product at Messari, a New York-based cryptocurrency-focused data and research firm.
The price started to plunge around 18:30 UTC and stabilized around 19:00.
A trader, who wished to remain anonymous, said the price drop may have been exacerbated by margin calls and contract liquidations on Bitmex, a Seychelles-based exchange that provides customers with 100x leverage, essentially loans to traders that multiply the size of an investment by 100 times.
The margin calls were noted by DataMish, a data platform. We contacted Bitmex for comment but were unable to reach a representative at press time.
BitMex Margin Call Data via DataMish.
Prices hit $8,627 at time of publishing.
Bear image via Shutterstock