Bitcoin Price Rebounds After Market Evacuation; XRP Kickstarts Decoupling Process?

After two days in which $38 billion left the global crypto market cap, anyone who was in doubt over the fragility of the market at large has now been firmly answered.

Two competing theories have arisen over the source of the crash, with many suggesting the ongoing Bitcoin Cash hardfork saga as a possible culprit.

However, the more likely explanation appears to be the closing of Bitcoin future trades on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The same thing happened on the exact same date last year, right before the big bull run, and can be explained by traders selling off BTC just before the closure date (to be bought back later at a cheaper price).

Bitcoin Price Stabilizes…?

Bitcoin actually withstood the worst of the dip for the first few hours on Wednesday, and it originally  looked like we were witnessing an altcoin-only crash.

But eventually BTC got dragged into the mess and sunk 15% down to the $5,358 mark. Since then the price has stabilized at $5,500, and it has been there for six hours at time of writing. However, the previous level of $5,600 was also held for six hours before eventually continuing to plunge, so this may not turn out to be the last of it.

BTC volumes hit six-month highs during the sell-off, reaching $9 billion – a volume not seen since May. Surprisingly, if we exclude the BitMEX derivatives trading, then the highest concentration of BTC trades have come from the BTC/JPY (Japanese yen) pair. The $300 million worth of trades on the Liquid exchange represents 92% of all activity on that platform, and the dominance of Japanese money in BTC’s charts is a rare sight.

The Great Decoupling

Even those who aren’t fans of Ripple and XRP have been noticing the coin’s tendency to move independent of BTC for a while now. There’s an idea circulating that XRP is in the process of decoupling from Bitcoin, and its reaction in the wake of the market wide crash lends credence to the notion.

Following the crash, XRP shot up by 9.4%, as the coin price rose from $0.432724 up to $0.473791. That’s the biggest growth out of all the major altcoins, and it was also enough to send XRP to second place in the market cap rankings, as covered here earlier.

While most other major alts neared September-August lows during the recent dip, XRP is still way above that range, and is already pushing past the $0.45 price which we had gotten used to during October’s stasis.

Like Bitcoin, if we exclude the XRP transaction mining on the ZBG exchange, the most concentrated trade is the XRP/JPY pair on Bitbank.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.