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Asia’s Bitcoin Volatility Linked To Algos Tracking ETF Flows


Recent Bitcoin price volatility in Asia has been closely linked to automated trading algorithms that monitor flows in US exchange-traded funds (ETFs). According to Bloomberg, this algorithmic trading response to daily US ETF flow data is causing pronounced swings in Bitcoin prices during Asian trading hours.

Trading Algos Spoil The Bitcoin Price

The trigger for Bitcoin’s steep decline, marking its worst drop in a month, was observed on Tuesday morning in Asia. This downturn coincided with the release of US ETF flows data, which indicated a net withdrawal of investments.

Shiliang Tang, president of Arbelos Markets, highlighted the impact of algorithmic trading on these market movements. “From an algorithmic trading perspective, bots can basically auto-scrape this data and buy and sell based on this,” Tang explained. “It seems that’s basically what is happening.”

The introduction of several Bitcoin ETFs in the United States on January 11 has since attracted a net $12 billion in investments. These ETFs experienced a surge in inflows, especially in the first half of March, propelling Bitcoin to a record high of $73,798. However, the premier cryptocurrency has seen a decline of up to 17.6% from this peak, amidst fluctuating inflows and outflows within the sector.

This pattern of flows has notably impacted the Asian market’s returns, with February and early March witnessing particularly strong performance, which diminished later in the month. The influence of algorithmic protocols on Bitcoin’s price not only affects the spot market but extends to derivatives as well, with Coinglass reporting about $357 million in bullish crypto bets being liquidated on Tuesday alone.

Charlie Morris, Chief Investment Officer at ByteTree Asset Management, pointed out the significance of ETF flows for Bitcoin compared to gold, noting that 5.5% of Bitcoin is held in ETFs, against 1% for gold. This makes ETF flows a more critical factor for Bitcoin’s market movements.

Market participants like Jakob Kronbichler, co-founder of Clearpool Finance, emphasize the market’s responsiveness to ETF flow data and suggest the recent correction as a natural pause for the market to “take a bit of a breather” amidst widespread excitement.

Spot ETFs Rake In $40 Million

Yesterday, all spot Bitcoin ETFs experienced an inflow totaling $40.3 million, primarily due to Blackrock’s significant contribution of $150.5 million, which played a crucial role in boosting the market. On the contrary, ARK faced a challenging day with $87.9 million in outflows, despite having $200 million inflows the previous week. Grayscale’s GBTC saw rather low outflows, amounting to $81.9 million.

Renowned analyst WhalePanda commented: “Maybe profit taking after Q1? Speculation though. […] Mondays always seem to have the most outflows and wondering if end of Q1 had something to do with it as I suspect. Price crashed further on US government moving/selling some of the BTC from Silk Road. Better to sell here than at $100k or $200k. 17 days until halving.”

At press time, BTC traded at $66,398.

BTC price, 4-hour chart | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image created with DALL·E, chart from TradingView.com

Disclaimer: The article is provided for educational purposes only. It does not represent the opinions of NewsBTC on whether to buy, sell or hold any investments and naturally investing carries risks. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use information provided on this website entirely at your own risk.

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