Wild Bitcoin, Ether Price Swings Amid Spot ETH ETF Decision Triggers $350M Liquidations

Crypto prices endured wild swings on Thursday as traders anxiously awaited a U.S. regulatory decision to list spot-based ether exchange-traded funds.

Within a nerve-wracking hour leading up to the eventual approval, ETH first tumbled to $3,500 at around U.S. traditional market closing time, then surged to near $3,900 as the first unconfirmed reports of an approval appeared to eventually settle above $3,800 following the confirmation.

Bitcoin (BTC) saw a similarly hectic episode sinking to the low-$66,000s, then spiking to $68,300 before paring gains below $68,000. However, ETH performed stronger, advancing 1.5% over the past 24 hours, compared to BTC’s almost 3% decline during the same period. The broad-market CoinDesk 20 Index was down 1.6% during the day.

Amid the volatile episode, liquidations across all leveraged crypto derivative positions soared to over $350 million during the day, the most since May 1, CoinGlass data shows.

Ether (ETH) price on May 23 (CoinDesk)

Liquidations happen when an exchange closes a leveraged trading position due to a partial or total loss of the trader’s initial money down or “margin” – if the trader fails to meet the margin requirements or doesn’t have enough funds to keep the trade open.

The lion’s share of the wiped-out positions were longs betting in rising prices, worth roughly $250 million, suggesting that over-leveraged traders were caught off-guard by the sudden price plunge. ETH traders took the biggest hit, with $132 million of liquidations, followed by $70 million in BTC derivatives liquidations.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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