Bitcoin prices crashed by almost $1,000 on Thanksgiving eve, logging their worst declines in three weeks as traders grappled with overbought conditions and rumors of tighter regulations.
The flagship cryptocurrency hit an intraday low of $17,150 in early Asian hours Monday, down more than 12 percent from its year-to-date peak of $19,500 established a day before. The plunge further accompanied lower volumes and a toned-down momentum oscillator, suggesting that the market was merely cooling down after rallying relentlessly for seven weeks in a row.
Nevertheless, the Bitcoin market’s sell-off accelerated, particularly after Coinbase-fame Brian Armstrong warned about tighter crypto regulations in the US.
Cold Wallets at Risk
In a Twitter-thread, the chief executive said that his firm “heard rumors” about the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s plans to introduce fresh rules for “self-custody wallets” by the end of his term.
The open nature of cryptocurrencies allows anyone to create a private wallet by downloading third-party software on their computers/smartphones or through hardware devices that store digital assets. These types of self-custodial solutions come cheaper than traditional financial services — and they ensure privacy.
But the rumored regulation appears to limit many of those features. Mr. Armstrong noted that — if Mr. Mnuchin passes the law — they would need to conduct identity verification on every user that downloads its software wallet. This could potentially put their financial privacy at risk.
“[The regulation] sounds like a reasonable idea on the surface,” he explained. “Still, it is a bad idea in practice because it is often impractical to collect identifying information on a recipient in the crypto economy.”
Bitcoin Bulls Defensive
Despite the growing uncertainty from the US Treasury, Bitcoin posted an attractive rebound upon hitting $17,150.
BTC/USD recovered about 4 percent of its losses immediately after the plunge, leaving behind a long wick famous for calling the fake breakout moves out. It means that traders are still short-term bullish on Bitcoin, believing that the cryptocurrency would continue rallying upwards amid supportive macroeconomic settings.
“All Exchanges Inflow Mean increased a few hours ago,” said Ki-Young Ju, the CEO of data analytics platform CryptoQuant. “It indicates that whales, relatively speaking, deposited BTC to exchanges. But long-term on-chain indicators say the buying pressure prevails. I still think we can break 20k in a few days.”
Meanwhile, some traders expected the price to continue further lower before finding a support level to attempt a rebound towards $20K.
Source: Bitcoin Falls as Mnuchin [Reportedly] Plans to Regulate Private Wallets