Bitcoin (BTC/USD) fell sharply, at least relative to its recent stability, during the past hour of trade. It shed nearly 3% to $235 on BTC-e, its lowest level in a week.
The suddenness of the drop speaks more to bitcoin’s recent stable profile, particularly during the past three days. It had not deviated by more than 0.8% in either direction, making it a less volatile asset than many of its traditional counterparts in the currency, equity and commodity markets.
Interestingly, traded volume has been much higher in comparison with other recent periods of flat trade. It has averaged roughly 400 BTC/hour, a reasonable figure even during periods of greater price action. One is tempted to speculate that bitcoin prices may be genuinely stabilizing toward some equilibrium, but much more time is needed to give this theory credibility.
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Historically, such flat periods have been followed by major moves in either direction, the ensuing moves exaggerated by the shock relative to the previous calm.
Today’s drop brings bitcoin back to its 50-day moving average (MA), which it has been straddling closely during the past three weeks.
Prices on BTC-e have given up their recent premium and are now roughly in line with those of its peers.