Some abnormally high bitcoin (BTC) trading volume on BTC-e has some traders wondering what will happen next. Over 35,000 BTC ($17 million) has been traded in the past 6 hours, by far exceeding the roughly 18,000 traded during the flash crash. It is the highest such figure since a volatile period in mid-April when BTC/USD also entered $300 territory.
The 6h volume comprises a major chunk of the entire global 24h trading volume, typically 100,000-120,000 BTC and usually dominated by China’s top exchanges.
Similar behavior has been observed in Litecoin trading, where the concurrent price decline has been far more noticeable and raised the prospect of margin call-induced trading taking place. Bitcoin has only declined by about 3% during the stretch, which has led some to suggest that trading bots having gone hyperactive are responsible.
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(Update: Crypto markets have taken a turn lower, with BTC and LTC hitting new lows of $480 and $4.82 respectively).
Bitcoin now trades at a 12.5% discount to its 200-day moving average, now $550. $480 is also BTC’s short-term support level, which if broken, can lead to declines back down to $460.