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Bitcoin shorts nurse $85m in losses as price seen surging into 2024

Bitcoin shorts nurse $85m in losses as price seen surging into 2024
Crypto traders suffered millions in liquidations as prices rallied, led by Bitcoin. Credit: Orhan Akkurt/Shutterstock
  • Crypto traders were liquidated to the tune of $310 million over the past day.
  • Binance saw the most action, with short sellers losing $23 million on their Bitcoin bets.
  • Bitcoin is trading above $41,000, levels last seen in April 2021.

Crypto traders were plagued by liquidations as prices rallied overnight, with short sellers bearing the brunt of the losses.

Coinbase analysts expect the rally to continue throughout December, meaning short sellers could face mounting losses if they remain unwilling to change their positions.

Bitcoin bears have suffered heavy losses over the past 24 hours as over 100,000 positions have been liquidated in that period, with short sellers facing $85 million in losses, according to Coinglass data.

Over $310 million worth of positions, both long and short, have been liquidated in the past 24 hours.

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Of the positions being liquidated, over $180 million were positions were traders had gone short on cryptocurrencies — betting that the prices would fall.

Bitcoin has rallied in anticipation of spot exchange-traded funds being approved in a not too distant future, but analysts argue that its latest moves are more closely tied to the improved macroeconomic outlook.

The current environment could be here to stay, at least through to January, Coinbase said in a report on Friday. Meaning more short sellers could continue to suffer losses if they fail to reprice their bets.

Binance saw the most action, with traders on the exchange suffering $120 million in liquidations across a slew of cryptocurrencies. Short sellers lost $66 million on Binance, $23 million of which were on their Bitcoin bets.

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Liquidations occur when traders make bets on leverage and can no longer meet the requirements of the trade. When this happens, the exchange closes the traders’ position at a partial or full loss.

The largest single liquidation occurred on BitMEX, where one trader lost over $6 million trading Bitcoin perpetual futures, or perps.

BitMEX pioneered the trading of perps in crypto, giving traders the opportunity to trade at 100x leverage — or 100 times their cash balance.

Unlike other derivatives contracts, perps have no settlement date and trade in perpetuity, giving traders greater flexibility.

Leverage is a high risk high reward strategy typically used by pro-traders.

The liquidations come as Bitcoin surged to levels last seen before the collapse of the Terra ecosystem.

The biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation traded around $42,000 on Monday morning, its highest price since April 2021.

Update: A previous version of this article implied that Bitcoin’s price has tripled. It is up about 140% this year.

Adam Morgan McCarthy is DL News’ London-based Markets Correspondent. Got a tip? Reach out at adam@dlnews.com.

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