Analysis: Bitcoin Traders Use High Leverage to Drive Dramatic Cryptocurrency Volatility

Traders taking excessive risks in the unregulated cryptocurrency market are forced to sell cryptocurrencies when prices fall, which is largely responsible for last week’s 30 percent price drop and major exchange outages, analysts said, according to CNBC. Bitcoin traders closed about $12 billion in leveraged positions last week, which destroyed about 800,000 crypto accounts, according to said JMP analyst Devin Ryan: “The sell-off will trigger more sell-offs until leverage reaches equilibrium.” He added that leverage in the cryptocurrency market has been a key theme in exacerbating volatility, and Ryan said he expects the influence of leverage to wane as the cryptocurrency market expands, especially as more institutional capital enters. Another reason behind the sale of bitcoin may come from the growing bitcoin lending market. The fact that bitcoin is not regulated by central banks is part of what makes it so valuable to investors, Ryan said, “The crypto market doesn’t have the same backing as other, more traditional markets. In some ways, crypto markets are cleaner, they’re not subject to the buyer of last resort.” However, Ryan said regulation could be seen as validation of the crypto market and could have a positive impact on digital assets.