Bitcoin claws back to US$42,000 after crypto market meltdown

Bitcoin claws back to US$42,000 after crypto market meltdown
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SINGAPORE (May 20): Crypto markets are showing signs of recovery after Wednesday's dramatic sell-off.

Bitcoin hovered near the US$42,000 mark and Ether rebounded as investors tried to make sense of the crash that wiped away billions and shattered the notion of crypto as a maturing asset class.

"You can't keep a good dip buyer down for long in the financial markets these days, and cryptos are no different," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda. "The mass liquidation yesterday will have thinned out the ranks of believers."

Volatility has dominated crypto markets, with Bitcoin plunging and surging more than 30% within a few hours on Wednesday. The carnage kicked off last week, when Tesla Inc billionaire Elon Musk criticised Bitcoin for wasting energy and backtracked on a decision to allow crypto transactions. Losses accelerated after China warned that digital tokens could not be used for payments.

"It is still our best-performing allocation so far this year even after, you know, a 30% to 40% dislocation," Troy Gayeski, co-chief investment officer at Skybridge Capital, said on Bloomberg TV. "The key is whatever size at cost you're comfortable with, let the bull market play out, tolerate the volatility and have confidence that ultimately by the end of this year you will be at a meaningfully higher price."

While all were proximate causes cited for the rout, the liquidation frenzy on Wednesday morning was sentiment-driven and disorderly, with the coin dropping thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes. Selling gave way to more selling as investors lured into crypto in search of a quick buck bolted for the exits. It all accelerated when Bitcoin fell below its average price for the past 200 days.

On Thursday, the mood in the market was quieter, with traders looking for the next technical levels and speculating whether prices have become oversold. Bitcoin gained 11% to US$42,013 as of 9.54am in New York. Ether added 15% to US$2,919.

Halley at Oanda said Bitcoin's round numbers will be important to watch. "US$30,000.00 is the line in the sand now, and another capitulation wave will follow if it breaks," he said, adding that if prices can hold above US$40,000, then it will draw investors looking to get back into the action.

"This market presents opportunities for people now, but I think you will see people wait and let it settle," said Todd Morakis, co-founder of digital-finance product and service provider JST Capital.

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