The price of bitcoin (BTC) on Binance.US, the US-based exchange affiliated with Binance, briefly crashed to as low as USD 8,200 today – a drop of 87% – before recovering again. The crash marks the second time in a month when bitcoin prices in the US have briefly disconnected from the rest of the world.
Today’s flash crash, which was one of the most significant on a major exchange in bitcoin’s history, all happened within less than 1 minute, the BTC/USD price chart from Binance.US showed.
Although the flash crash was all over within a minute, the trading volume showed that a significant number of coins did change hands during the crash, indicating that some traders may have been able to fill orders for bitcoin at extremely low prices.
Flash crashes can happen when large market sell orders are sent to exchanges without sufficient liquidity on its order books, for instance, because a large trader accidentally placed the order as a market order instead of a limit order.
Today’s flash crash on Binance’s US exchange is the second such incident in a month in the US. On September 20, a data feed for crypto prices called Pyth that is used by some of the largest financial institutions on Wall Street showed a 90% crash in the price of bitcoin.
The feed briefly showed bitcoin at a price of USD 5,402. However, a similar price crash was nowhere else to be seen. Two days later, in a report about the incident, Pyth concluded that the abnormally low price was indeed a technical glitch, “caused by the combination of (1) two different Pyth publishers publishing a near-zero price for BTC/USD and (2) the aggregation logic overweighting these publishers’ contributions.”
Discussing today’s incident on Twitter, many traders complained about being forced by US regulations to use exchanges such as Binance.US, which has thin order books and low liquidity compared to the international version of the exchange.
No statement has yet been made from Binance or Binance US regarding today’s flash crash.
At 16:11 UTC, BTC trades at USD 63,180 and is down by almost 6% in a day, trimming its weekly gains to 10%.
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