‘Retail Traders Are Getting Burned Badly’: Bitcoin Plunges In Worst Week Since 2013

By Heisenberg

It’s falling apart for Bitcoin.

Depending on what exchange you’re looking at, Bitcoin prices fell as low as $12,160-ish overnight, a near 40% drop from the highs hit last weekend ahead of the CME futures launch:

Bitcoin

The declines come at the end of a week that saw bitcoin cash surge after Coinbase announced support for BCH, a move that looks to have been frontrun by at least some market participants. But bitcoin cash has now plunged from its highs as well:

BitcoinCash

Ethereum and litecoin are likewise getting crushed (looks like Charlie Lee sold at just the right time – imagine that):

ETHLTC

As usual, it’s impossible to pin down one catalyst but this comes during a week when the media has been awash with stories of increasingly absurd rallies in the stocks of companies that have abruptly switched gears to become blockchain adopters. In one particularly ridiculous example, a company called “Long Island Iced Tea” changed its name to “Long Blockchain” and immediately soared some 400%.

The sheer scope of the insanity prompted a FINRA warning. “It is important to do your research. Even when legitimate companies enter a hot, new sector, con artists almost always follow suit,” Gerri Walsh, FINRA’s senior vice president for investor education, said Thursday in statement.

Market sentiment was also dented by the Youbit debacle, which again underscored the cryptosphere’s inherent risks.

“A manic upward swing led by the herd will be followed by a downturn as the emotional sentiment changes,” Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of industry website Cryptocompare in London told Reuters Friday, adding that “with the end of the year in sight a lot of investors will be taking profits and saying thank you very much and closing their books for the holiday period.”

“The sharks are beginning to circle here, and the futures markets may give them a venue to strike,” Ross Norman, CEO of London-based bullion dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd., told Bloomberg. “Bitcoin’s been heavily driven by retail investors, but there’ll be some aggressive funds looking for the right opportunity to hammer this thing lower.”

Echoing those remarks is Oanda’s Stephen Innes who said this: “Most of it is unsophisticated retail traders getting burned badly.” Indeed, Stephen.

In fact, this is shaping up to be Bitcoin’s worst week since 2013:

Bitcoin3

Meanwhile, futures are now trading at a premium to spot again, after trading a discount on Thursday:

BitcoinFuts

So is this the end? Have we seen “peak crypto”?

Not likely. But you never know. And wouldn’t it be hilarious if the bubble burst before Goldman’s planned trading desk even gets off the ground?

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