Week in Review: Crypto Rally Loses Steam as Bitcoin Falls Below 100-Day MA

The cryptocurrency market swung sharply lower this week, as bitcoin entered a short-term bearish cycle following a series of technical breakdowns. On Friday, the leading digital currency fell below the 100-day moving average, erasing the prospect of an imminent recovery.

Bitcoin’s liquidity issues were also on display Friday after Hong Kong-based OKEx injected $18 million worth of BTC into an insurance fund to cover losses in the futures market. Exchange volumes have declined steadily over the past two weeks, raising the prospect of more volatile moves in the short term.

Bitcoin Leads Crypto Market Downturn

Bitcoin’s sudden reversal on Tuesday triggered a market-wide decline in asset prices, with altcoins ending the week sharply lower. Digital currencies lost a combined $24 billion in market value over the past seven days. Roughly 68% of the total loss was concentrated in altcoins and tokens.

After a failed recovery attempt, the bitcoin pricep bottomed at $7,281 on Friday, according to Bitfinex. The coin would later recover at $7,400, where it was trading below the 100-day moving average.

In terms of percentage losses, bitcoin is down nearly 8% for the week. Ethereum, bitcoin cash, EOS, Stellar and Cardano were each down double-digits.

As of Friday, the combined value of cryptocurrencies was $264 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The market peaked above $304 billion last month.

OKEx Initiates “Clawback”

Traders in North America awoke on Friday to news that OKEx, a leading Hong Kong-based exchange, was initiating a “clawback” after a wrong-way bet on bitcoin futures left an unidentified user unable to cover losses.

In a statement released on Friday, OKEx announced it had moved to liquidate the position earlier in the week. The long position on bitcoin futures had a notional value of roughly $416 million, according to Bloomberg data. The exchange said it injected 2,500 bitcoins ($18 million) into an insurance fund to help minimize the impact on clients.

The bitcoin whale responsible for the trade was identified by the ID number 2051247. The wrong-way bet was initiated at 2 .m. Hong Kong time on Tuesday.

“Our risk management team immediately contacted the client, requesting the client several times to partially close the positions to reduce the overall market risks,” OKEx said. “However, the client refused to cooperate, which lead to our decision of freezing the client’s account to prevent further positions increasing. Shortly after this preemptive action, unfortunately, the BTC price tumbled, causing the liquidation of the account.”

Apple’s Record Valuation

Apple Inc. made history on Thursday after it became the first U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion, highlighting the iPhone maker’s explosive growth over the past two decades.

Shares of the Cupertino, California-based company briefly crossed $207 on Thursday, catapulting its market cap above the trillion-dollar mark. Apple’s share price has exploded 22% this year, with the latest rally fueled by another stellar earnings report.

Rebounding technology stocks generated an impressive recovery for the Nasdaq. The tech-laden index rose 2.3% between Tuesday and Thursday.

The Week Ahead

The debate over cryptocurrency regulation will rage on next week as investors eye an SEC decision on the latest bitcoin ETF application submitted by VanEck and SolidX. Based on existing timelines, the agency could deliver a ruling as early as Aug. 16. However, many believe the matter will drag on for many more months.

In traditional markets, the threat of all-out trade war between the United States and China appears more imminent now that Beijing has applied retaliatory tariffs. The ongoing trade spat has been a source of concern for much of the year.

On the data front, Chinese trade and inflation data will make headlines next week. The U.S. Department of Commerce will also report the latest on consumer prices.

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 Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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