The Mystery Order that Sparked the Bitcoin Rally

Bitcoin broke out on Tuesday, culminating in a 20% rally that analysts say originated from a single buy order spread out across three exchanges. Traditional markets were far less exciting, as the Dow slumped 100 points and the S&P 500 Index careened lower.

Bitcoin’s Mystery Order

Bitcoin’s sharp and sudden breakout on Tuesday triggered an equally large gain for altcoins and tokens, sending the cryptocurrency market to its best 24 hours since the latter stages of the bull market more than a year ago. Although the rally appeared out of nowhere, analysts now say it was engineered by a single trader.

The 20% rally in bitcoin’s price came after a single user bought $100 million worth of bitcoin across three cryptocurrency exchanges, according to Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, chief executive of BCD Group. The three exchanges in question were Coinbase and Kraken in the United States and Luxembourg’s Bitstamp.

“There has been a single order that has been algorithmically-managed across these three venues, of around 20,000 BTC,” he said, according to Reuters. “If you look at the volumes on each of those three exchanges – there were in-concert, synchronized, units of volume of around 7,000 BTC in an hour.”

For the first time since November, the bitcoin price cleared $5,000 in Asian trading before settling around $4,700 by the late afternoon. Every major crypto asset reported gains, with the total market capitalization peaking just north of $165 billion.

Dow Struggles on Weak Earnings from Walgreens

The Dow lagged the rest of the stock market on Tuesday after Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) reported weaker than expected financial results, setting the stage for a dismal earnings quarter for Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by as much as 136 points. It would later pare losses to settle down 79.29 points, or 0.3%, at 26,179.13. Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance plunged nearly 13% after reporting earnings and revenue that missed analysts’ expectations.

Large cap stocks traded mixed as a whole, with the S&P 500 Index drifting between gains and losses. It would eventually settle flat at 2,867.24.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index extended its rally to four days, climbing 0.3% to 7,848.69.

U.S. Crude Hits Five-Month High

Amid crypto euphoria and attention paid to the stock market, commodity prices flew under the radar on Tuesday. Oil continued to spike after data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed a slowdown in U.S. shale output.

In its monthly report released March 29, the EIA said U.S. producers lowered their output by about 90,000 barrels per day between December and January. The slowdown comes in the wake of a disastrous fourth quarter for the black commodity.

On Tuesday, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for U.S. crude futures peaked at $62.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a gain of 1.5% and the highest since early November. International benchmark Brent crude traded as high as $69.50 a barrel.

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.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi