Cryptos Are Crashing Again…
From South Korean bank blocks to Bulgarian ponzi scheme shutdowns and a Bali bitcoin crackdown, you can take your pick as to what is driving the sudden plunge in cryptocurrencies this morning. Ethereum is back below $1000, Bitcoin is back to a $10k handle, and Ripple is down 30% from the weekend’s highs.
The catalyst for the move is uncertain at best with numerous headlines over the weekend:
- OneCoin offices were raided and its servers seized in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Jan. 17 and 18, as yet another step in a series of international raids and court cases against the highly-controversial altcoin. Although the servers were shut down, OneCoin currently remains operational.
- Bitcoin exchanges are under fire in India, as many of the nation’s top banks have suspended or greatly curtailed functionality on exchange accounts. State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank have all taken strong action toward crypto exchanges, either closing accounts or severely limiting functionality. The banks cite the risk of dubious transactions, according to local reports.
- The biggest Nordic bank sent a memo to all its employees on Monday informing them that they will not be allowed to trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Nordea Bank AB will impose the ban from Feb. 28, after the board agreed to take a stand due to the “unregulated nature” of the market, spokeswoman Afroditi Kellberg said by phone. The bank had about 31,500 employees at the end of the third quarter.
- Bitcoin is under heavy surveillance on Bali, an island in the Indonesian archipelago, according to local reports. Central Bank officials are seeking to crack down on the use of the cryptocurrency anywhere in the nation.
But we do note that the most recent plunge occurred as Bitcoin broke below its 100-day moving average at $10951..
And with the short overhang growing weekly, one wonders how long before a short squeeze – whether due to some long-overdue bullish catalyst or for some other reason – in unleashed first in bitcoin futures, then quickly cascading into the spot market, potentially unleashing the next move higher in the cryptocurrency space.
Year-to-Date, Ethereum remains the only big winner of the major cryptos…
Finally, as a reminder, this January weakness in Bitcoin is not unusual as it appears a pre-Lunar-New-Year sell-off is prevalent: