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Bitcoin crash not the only issue for investors

By Ramla Soni

Futures exchanges saw a change of electronically triggered liquidations of leveraged positions, increasing pressure on prices

While the coronavirus continues to impact stocks, oil, bonds and global economies, bitcoin crashed to its worst day in seven years. However, plummeting prices weren’t the only problem for investors.

Futures exchanges saw a change of electronically-triggered liquidations of leveraged positions, increasing pressure on prices.

Spreads between exchanges jumped and at least two major exchanges went down, leaving investors locked out of the market for more than an hour.

On Thursday, March 12, Bitcoin prices fell nearly 40 per cent, the biggest one-day drop since spring 2013. On March 13, the cryptocurrency briefly dropped below $4,000, after starting the week above $9,000. It later recovered to roughly $5,400 as of the close of US markets.

The digital currency had been trading near the $10,000 level in mid-February.

Volatility raced to its highest in seven years, with volumes across major cryptocurrency exchanges soaring to $30.8bn on March 12-13, among the four highest two-day totals on record.

New York exchange Gemini said it fell offline for less than 90 minutes and Seychelles-based BitMEX went down twice, for a total of 45 minutes.

Gemini declined to detail the problem, or comment on whether it was caused or exacerbated by market moves.

BitMEX said its outages were due to denial-of-service cyberattacks that stopped messages from reaching its trading engines.

Last week also saw the world's second largest digital currency, Ethereum, fall 46 per cent while XRP lost nearly 40 per cent of its value.

FURTHER READING: Cryptocurrency trading apps versus cryptocurrency trading sites

FURTHER READING: Losses from cryptocurrency crime doubled in 2019

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