On Thursday (19 July 2018), Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, one of the largest crypto exchanges (by trading volume), in an interview with CNBC’s “Fast Money”, gave his thoughts on the “short squeeze” theory for Bitcoin’s huge price surge two days earlier.
The host, Melissa Lee, started by asking Hayes if he had any evidence to support the theory that short sellers on BitMEX had caused the Bitcoin price to pop on 17 July 2018. Hayes said:
“During the pump from $6,800 to about $7,250, in that… 15 minutes, we liquidated about $230 million worth of short positions, but bear in mind that we are a futures market; so, for every long, there’s a short. So, there’s not an imbalance of shorts per se, but many people probably entered the position around the same levels, which is probably why we got a little pump there.”
He was then asked if we’d seen the worst for Bitcoin this year. Hayes had a surprising reply:
“I don’t actually think we’ve seen the worst. I think this is a very strong reality on good volume, and we definitely could see $8,000, $9,000, and maybe just shy of $10,000. We’ve been here before earlier this spring: we rallied from $5,800 to in the high $9,000 level, but didn’t quite crack $10000. I think similar action will happen this time, and I would like to see us test $5,000 to really see if we put a bottom in… Given that it’s the summer… I think people are taking a little bit of chill time, come back into Q3, Q4, then I think the party is going to start again.”
Finally, Lee asked Hayes how trading volumes were doing on BitMEX relative to the peak volumes last seen in December 2017. Hayes said that in the case of BitMEX, it’s share of the market had expanded in 2018, and that the company had its best month in March, but for “spot exchanges that don’t have any leverage, the peak volumes were in December.” He added that we’ll definitely see volumes increase if the current rally continues, but he still felt that “through the third and fourth quarter, has generally been a positive time for Bitcoin because everyone has come back from the summer vacation.”
Featured Image Credit: Image Courtesy of BitMEX