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Navigating the Bitcoin Volatility

What Every Financial Advisor Should Know about Yesterday's Drop

Hold on!!!

Yesterday, Bitcoin experienced a significant price drop of over 11% in just a few hours, leading to one of the largest liquidation events ever witnessed. This incident provides us with a valuable learning opportunity, and I want to delve into what caused this drop and the lessons we can draw from it.

At the end of this post is a video we recorded several weeks ago, discussing the volatility then. The main points still hold

Understanding the Volatility of Bitcoin and Crypto

First, it's crucial to recognize that Bitcoin and crypto assets are inherently volatile due to several factors:

1. Global Trading Hours: These assets are traded around the clock, every day of the year. When we're asleep, they are actively traded in markets across the world, especially in Asia, reacting to the continuous flow of news.

2. High Leverage in Global Markets: Regulations in various parts of the world allow for considerable leverage, sometimes up to 100x. This means that even minor price movements can trigger cascading liquidations.

3. Uniform Price Across Markets: Despite the lack of high leverage trading in the US, the price of Bitcoin on our exchanges mirrors that of international markets due to arbitrage.

4. Absence of Circuit Breakers: Unlike the stock market, the crypto market doesn't have a mechanism to halt trading during drastic price falls. Trading continues relentlessly, regardless of price fluctuations.

What Triggered Today's Price Fall?

The catalyst for today’s drop appears to be a speculative article from The Block, authored by an analyst at Matrixport. The piece suggested that the much-anticipated Bitcoin ETF might not get approved, although it lacked insider knowledge or supporting data. The non-stop nature of crypto trading meant that this headline was rapidly disseminated on social media, prompting immediate sell-offs and leading to the price cascade.

Key Takeaways for Financial Advisors

As financial advisors, there are several key points we should take away from this event:

1. Plan for Volatility: It's part and parcel of dealing with a global asset class. Having a strategy to manage it and setting realistic client expectations are vital.

2. Global Market Understanding: If you're advising clients on Bitcoin investments, even through an ETF, it's important to grasp how the global market operates. Imagine a scenario where a significant price drop occurs overnight, and you're unable to respond until the US market opens.

3. Evaluating Crypto-Related News Sources: In the realm of cryptocurrency, skepticism is healthy. There are no true experts yet, given the relatively short history of these assets. Understanding the technology and market dynamics is crucial to developing sound investment strategies.

4. Long-Term Investment Perspective: Today's price movement should not fundamentally alter long-term investment strategies. However, if your strategy is short-term or ETF-based, it might warrant closer scrutiny.

Why This Matters to You

For financial advisors, understanding these dynamics is crucial. It's not just about staying informed but about being able to guide your clients through the volatile and often unpredictable world of cryptocurrencies. Your role is not just to advise but to educate and set the right expectations, helping your clients navigate these tumultuous waters with confidence and clarity.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need further insights into this evolving market.