The latest round of volatility in the bitcoin trading has brought with it some rarely seen behaviors, particularly on Bitstamp.
24h after we reported on the larger discount in prices on BTC-e relative to Bitstamp- a recurring trend during recent downturns- their roles were drastically reversed. Bitcoin (BTC) indeed broke $300 across all exchanges 24h ago. It hit $275 on both Bitstamp and Bitfinex, but only reached $285 on BTC-e. Several hours ago, prices diverged to as much as 3% lower on Bitstamp. Currently, the gap has closed to 1%. Evidently, other exchanges have been slow to keep up with the abnormally heavy selling pressure.
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At the peak of selling, volume was its highest since during the MtGox collapse in late February. 24h volume totalled over 90,000 BTC on Bitstamp alone. This is typically the total across all exchanges worldwide, of which Bitstamp usually commands no more than 5-10%.
Six hours ago, an infamous “whale” reportedly dumping 30,000 BTC caused prices to form a ceiling at exactly $300 for five hours, uninterrupted. Many in the community worried that the “whale” will not be defeated. Once the order was depleted, prices shot up by 10%. Some have speculated that the whale was an early adopter who rushed to protect profits realized from multifold over the past couple of years.
The only thing missing this time around is a flash crash, although the 11% drop in 1 hour to $275 may qualify on a minor scale.