Finance

Bitcoin no longer in ‘easy mode’ — expect a leverage wipeout, observers warn

Traders with leveraged positions in Bitcoin (BTC) could be in for a nasty surprise as the cryptocurrency faces a critical crossroads, which could see the price bounce in different directions, analysts warn. 

“The market was in easy mode, but right now clearly there’s too much leverage and market makers are having a field day exploiting high emotions and degenerate behavior,” pseudonymous crypto trader HoneyBadger said in an April 11 post on X.

“Market makers are having the best time ever chopping everyone up,” he added.

Data from CoinGlass shows that $39 million worth of leveraged positions in Bitcoin were liquidated over the past 24 hours, with a total of $18.38 million in long positions and $20.62 million in short positions.

HoneyBadger pointed to the Bitcoin price chart, which appears to be forming a symmetrical triangle, indicating a neutral pattern, unlike a bullish ascending or bearish descending triangle which traders can use to make better judgments of its direction.

Source: HoneyBadger

He believes traders might prematurely interpret it as a “retest of the triangle,” prompting them to enter long positions with high confidence. He warns these traders could be caught off guard with a fakeout — when the price briefly moves out of a chart pattern but quickly retracts.

Mechanism Capital co-founder Andrew Kang is more optimistic, believing the upward trend will continue into new all-time highs following the Bitcoin halving on April 20.

“I expect BTC to touch $80K by May,” he said in an April 11 post on X.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $70,500, having tested its support level of $68,500 three times in the past week, as per CoinMarketCap data.

Bitcoin’s price has hovered between $66,100 and $72,520 over the past 7 days. Source: CoinMarketCap

On April 10, Bitcoin’s price briefly dropped 3% below the support level following the release of United States inflation data, which disappointed many observers.

Recently, the market witnessed a sudden 5% drawdown in the price of Bitcoin from $69,450 to $65,970 on April 2, which saw $50 million of Bitcoin long positions liquidated.

Source: Ben Werkman

However, the increase in leveraged positions taken by traders over the past few days shows that another similar 5% drop will have a much greater impact on long positions.

If Bitcoin’s current price increases by 5% to $73,819, approximately $2.14 billion in short positions will be liquidated, as per CoinGlass data.

Gold proponent and Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff claims there are “way too many” people with long positions in Bitcoin with too much confidence that “they can’t lose.”

“Markets seldom work out the way speculators expect them too. More often than not they end up disappointed,” he stated in an April 11 post on X.

Related: Bitcoin 5% flash crash leads to $165M in leveraged crypto liquidations

On the other hand, if Bitcoin’s price drops by 5% to $66,671, roughly $1.63 billion worth of long positions will be liquidated.

HoneyBadger stated that he’s staying on the market sidelines due to volatility and isn’t worried about missing out on price dips in the short term. Arthur Hayes recently echoed a similar sentiment, claiming that he has decided to “abstain from trading until May” amid a potential crypto “firesale.”

“My strategy is to wait for the right moment and not to rush it. And if I am wrong? Well at least I have protected my capital and I can play catch up later,” wrote HoneyBadger.

Similarly, crypto trader Jelle advised his 78,500 X followers to sit on their hands and not “get chopped up” by getting “rinsed on leverage.”

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This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.