Futures traders betting on a downside in the crypto markets lost over $82 million in the past 24 hours as the broader market staged a brief recovery.
A bit over $45 million worth of longs were liquidated. Liquidations occur when an exchange forcefully closes a trader’s leveraged position as a safety mechanism due to a partial or total loss of the trader’s initial margin. This happens primarily in futures trading, which only tracks asset prices, as opposed to spot trading, where traders own the actual assets.
Bitcoin rose to $43,000 during Asian hours on Wednesday, while major altcoins surged as high as 19% at the time of writing. The jump came soon after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the agency will combat the current high inflation environment, signalling that the central bank may reduce its balance sheet at a faster pace this year.
Some crypto traders and investors view bitcoin as a hedge against inflation while others consider it a risk asset like stocks, which react to tightened monetary policy resulting from high inflation, as reported.
Tuesday’s sudden move caught traders unaware. Bitcoin-linked futures on crypto exchange Binance saw traders lose $15 million in the past 24 hours, with OKEx following closely behind with $11 million in liquidations. Some 60% of all bitcoin traders were short on the two exchanges.
Losses were not limited to bitcoin futures. Ether traders saw $31 million across long and short positions, while altcoin futures linked to Near and Dogecoin saw nearly $6 million in liquidations each.
Over 40,700 trades were liquidated in the past 24 hours, with overall losses crossing $124 million at the time of writing.