The bitcoin price dropped almost $400 in a matter of minutes on Sunday evening before immediately paring losses. The flash crash and quick recovery is an obvious sign of bitcoin whales playing mind games.
While it’s impossible to know exactly what happened, the price action looks like a classic bear trap. A handful of large players initiated a sharp selloff, luring other traders into opening short positions. The whales then immediately started buying, forcing traders to close out those positions at a loss.
It’s a game. In this volatile range between $9,000 and $13,000, the whales are initiating and capitalizing on short-term swings.
Bitcoin price stuck under $10,000
The bitcoin price remains firmly below the psychological $10k barrier. The short-term trend remains bearish with most analysts still predicting a sub $9,000 bitcoin price before the long-term uptrend kicks back in.
On Monday, the BTC price settled around $9,605, having fallen 30 percent from the local high of $13,785. The long-term outlook remains bullish and 30-40 percent pullbacks aren’t unusual for bitcoin, even in a bull market.
Bitcoin whales still dominate the market
Even though the bitcoin market has evolved significantly over the last two years, a majority of BTC is owned by a small number of individuals. They can exert pressure on the markets to form patterns and lure unsuspecting traders to take their bait.
As trader Josh Rager explained in a tweet last year:
“Whales and Wall Street like to play mind games. One of these includes making the market extremely choppy to make it difficult to trade.”
Whales and Wall Street like to play mind games.
One of these includes making the market extremely choppy to make it difficult to trade.
The other, create a market that slowly declines with little volatility where no one can profit. (Slow bleed) Ppl panic and sell.
— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) February 25, 2018
A classic bitcoin bear trap
Another popular bitcoin trader correctly predicted Sunday’s price action before it happened.
I think they’ll trap shorts and collect the liquidity with a wick before tapping the breaker. pic.twitter.com/orXlMBbk6E
— Livercoin (@livercoin) July 28, 2019
Livercoin saw the bear trap setup coming and it played out almost exactly as analyzed. Whales forced down the price, tricked traders into opening short positions, then forced the price back up. Anyone with a short-position was forced to close out their shorts at a loss. The whales then scooped up all the liquidity, with the likely intention of doing it all again.
Long, sustainable bitcoin price run is coming
If you can ride out the short-term volatility, you’ll be rewarded, according to analyst Willy Woo. As CCN reported, the market is simply laying the foundations for a stronger price run.
“Stage 1 of the bull market is completing. Once we bottom, stage 2 begins, promising the long sustainable bull drive that takes us through all of 2020 (if BTC continues its personality). Stage 1 was trader-driven dominance squeezing us up and driving fomo.”
If his analysis is correct, the ranging volatility will soon disappear and a stronger bull run will take hold.
Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart.