An incredible $117 million worth of bitcoin shorts closed on Bitfinex, giving a very uncharacteristic massive red candle.
Just what happened here is very unclear, with bitcoin shorts somewhat instantly falling from ₿14,000 to ₿4,800 at or around 9:50 AM London time.
Minutes after, Bitfinex went down, announcing an unscheduled maintenance at what looks like around 10AM London time.
“We are undergoing unscheduled maintenance with trading temporarily halted. All wallets remain unaffected and all traders will be kept informed of updates as and when they are available. Thank you for your patience,” the exchange said.
At around 14:30 London time they further added: “The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented. We will communicate further updates in real time. Thank you for your continued patience.”
It is unclear currently what exactly went on, but if such huge amount of shorts were closed in an instant, meaning about 10,000 bitcoins would have had to be bought, then you’d expect a significant upwards price reaction.
There was no reaction at all at the time this occurred earlier this morning, but bitcoin’s price did fall yesterday by quite a bit.
Presuming Bitfinex accepts one block confirmations, then maybe they did not check for orphans. A very basic mistake.
In that case, on a preliminary surface view, our first hypothesis would be that these might be fake shorts. Meaning the price was artificially lowered by out of nothing coins that do not exist on the blockchain but may have existed on finex.
That is speculation with it far too early to draw any conclusion, but the timing of much of this does suggest there may have been some shenanigans.