In efforts to put the blame on Bitcoin’s current price woes on anything other than sellers outnumbering buyers, most mainstream and even cryptocurrency-focused media practitioners have been eager to place the blame at the feet of Coinrail, an otherwise minor and irrelevant crypto exchange based in South Korea. However, the attack on Coinrail isn’t to blame for the current price crash experienced by Bitcoin: It’s market price manipulation and panic selling.
Bitcoin is currently down more than 50 percent after a spate of trading caused $42 billion to be cut from its market capitalization. The majority of mainstream media and crypto-focused publications were quick to blame the collapse on the hack of Coinrail, an exchange ranked 90th by trade volume that most readers have never even heard of.
But Coinrail isn’t the one to blame here. Panic sellers are.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Stephen Innes, the head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda Corp. agrees with this point, saying in the interview that:
“This is ‘If it can happen to A, it can happen to B and it can happen to C,’ then people panic because someone is selling. The markets are so thinly traded, primarily by retail accounts, that these guys can get really scared out of positions. It actually doesn’t take a lot of money to move the market significantly.”
Low liquidity is one of the biggest problems crypto markets face, as this can allow one account to manipulate prices on a dramatic scale, simply by unloading 1000 BTC, which can spark a wave of panic selling from people who honestly think that there has been a change in the cryptocurrency itself.
The most likely culprit in Bitcoin’s recent decline can probably be traced to moves from unchecked market manipulators who can drive down prices at the push of a button. Those same accounts can easily push prices back up, as evidenced on April 12, when Bitcoin prices went up to over $1000.
A look at the r/CryptoCurrency subreddit on social media website Reddit shows that the price drop has caused traders to get shaken out of a market.
A post from a user named u/shootermgavin_crypto echoes his sentiments:
It’s been emotional ladies and germans but I am officially tapping out.
Will leave 5k in this sh!tshow and see where it goes but the trading…no more, can’t do it. Don’t have the emotional fortitude.
God speed sailors”
He isn’t alone. With every manipulative move big-ticket investors pull to see how low they can go to buy Bitcoin, Retail traders continue to lose hope.