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Bitcoin prices take a hit after $150m liquidation on BitMEX, losing February gains

By Francis Jay

Wave of selling on major crypto exchange leads to a decrease of more than 6 per cent

Bitcoin’s steady increases over the month have been more or less cancelled out by an enormous amount of Bitcoin being sold through the crypto exchange BitMEX. Skew, a crypto analytics service, has reported that more than $150m (£116m, €137m) worth of Bitcoin was sold through the platform today, officially the largest volume of selling this year.

The shock to the cryptocurrency, caused by the expiration of long- and short-term contracts on BitMEX, was dramatic, falling almost 6 per cent to a low of $8,560. Since the drop there has been a partial recovery with Bitcoin now trading at around $8,770 but the $10,000 mark seen over the past few weeks has melted away.

While experts predicted the $10,000 level to remain consistent, partially through the belief that Bitcoin could act as a safe-haven asset for investors during the coronavirus outbreak, it now looks as if a drop to $8,000 is possible. There are concerns that the $8,000 level will affect the Bitcoin halving event, set to happen on the week commencing May 18.

This event is proof that cryptocurrencies can be every bit as fragile as regular investments. In February the value of XRP BitMEX crashed by nearly 60 per cent.

Some are confident that Bitcoin will reach new heights this year. One such person is Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, who claims that by summer 2020 the digital currency could reach $27,000, a prediction he derives from the 200-day moving average.

FURTHER READING: BitMEX accidentally leaks user email addresses

FURTHER READING: Everyone should keep 1 per cent of their assets in Bitcoin, Virgin Galactic chairman says

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