Bitcoin volatility jumps to 3-month high after late plunge

SINGAPORE: Bitcoin volatility is back to levels not seen since early November, thanks to a sudden tumble toward the end of the US day.

Historical swings over the past 10 days on the Bitcoin-US dollar pair surged to 65% on Wednesday, the highest level since Nov 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bitcoin plunged in that session, going from being little-changed at US$10,168 around 5am Hong Kong time to a drop of more than 8% to US$9,327 about 45 minutes later.

It recovered somewhat after that, and traded at US$9,572 as of 10.50am.

“It could be a technical move with highly leveraged derivatives positions getting called,” said Emmanuel Goh, who runs crypto-derivatives tracker Skew.

He noted that some long perpetual swap positions got liquidated on Bitmex around the time of the drop.

Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatility, and the largest of them has continued to live up to that reputation.

Bitcoin is still up more than 30% to start 2020, which some market players attribute to a search by investors for alternative asset classes amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.