Futures traders betting on upside for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) lost a cumulative $204 million to liquidations as prices dipped over the past 24 hours, Coinglass data show.
Liquidations occur when an exchange closes a trader’s leveraged position as a safety mechanism due to a partial or total loss of the trader’s initial margin. That happens primarily in futures trading, which only tracks asset prices as opposed to spot trading, where traders own the actual assets.
Bitcoin traders alone lost over $103 million as the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization fell to as low as $35,550 before recovering to over $36,600 in the Asian morning. Ether saw similar price action, falling to under $2,400 before gaining to $2,440 at the time of writing.
The moves came after a hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that ended Wednesday. The central bank said it remained committed to keeping inflation in check with a series of planned interest rate increases this year, a move that caused market declines across all major asset classes, including equities and cryptocurrencies.
“Digital assets, including bitcoin, tend to become more correlated with stocks during stress periods when most of the investment markets go risk-off," said Mikkel Morch, director at crypto hedge fund ARK36, in a note to CoinDesk. "Unsurprisingly, then, the crypto markets moved almost in tandem with the stock market following Fed Chair Jerome Powell's press conference in the aftermath of this month’s FOMC meeting." The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets eight times a year to discuss monetary policy changes and review economic and financial conditions.
A downturn in crypto markets saw nearly $319 million in liquidations in the past 24 hours, most of it from bitcoin and ether traders. Action in altcoins was more muted, with traders of futures tracking Solana’s SOL and Terra’s LUNA losing $8.77 million and $6.55 million respectively.
More than 53% of all traders were long, or betting on a market gain. Crypto exchange Binance saw over $124 million in losses, the most among all tracked exchanges, followed by OKX, which earlier this month renamed from OKEx, at $92 million. A majority of these trades were focused on bitcoin and ether tracked futures.
Over 96,700 traders had to liquidate positions, data from analytics tool Coinglass showed, with the largest occurring on crypto exchange Bybit – a bitcoin trade valued at over $5.55 million.