Bitcoin slumps 12% over past week as Mt. Gox repayments flood market

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In the past week, the price of Bitcoin has fallen by nearly 12% to about $55,700 of noon ET on Monday. The original cryptocurrency’s latest dip, experts told Fortune, is largely due to an uptick in on-chain selling.

One catalyst for the recent sell-off stems from repayments made by Mt. Gox, according to Matteo Greco, a research analyst at investment firm Fineqia International. The Tokyo-based crypto exchange went bankrupt a decade ago following a hack, but it’s begun to return about $8 billion in Bitcoin to creditors.

According to Greco, so far it’s been verified that 47,228 Bitcoin from a Mt. Gox-associated wallet has moved to a new address likely designated for repayments. Although investors may be required to wait up to three months to access the funds, news of repayments spooked the market and triggered current holders to begin selling, says Greco.

‘Finite’ selling pressures

Adding to this pressure is the Bitcoin recently transferred to exchanges by the German and U.S. governments. Over approximately two weeks, wallet addresses linked to those nations have sent $737.6 million in Bitcoin to Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Flow Traders, according to Blockworks. It is believed that the Bitcoin in question was seized by authorities via various criminal cases.

But zooming out further, the coin has failed to gain momentum since mid-March, when it hit record highs of just over $73,000. The MVRV ratio (market value versus realized value) currently stands at around 1.5, indicating an average unrealized profit of 50% among market participants, according to Greco. “This is a steep decline from the value above 3 observed in March,” he adds. 

Additionally, selling pressure remains high after April’s Bitcoin halving, which reduced the rewards miners receive for minting new coins by 50%. While this pressure has shown signs of decreasing in recent days, it still exceeds demand, worsening the short-term price drop, says Greco.

If the current retreat lasts until the end of this week, Bitcoin will have been in decline for five consecutive weeks, the longest span since the 2022 bear market. Traders “don’t want to get in front of billions of dollars of supply that could hit the market in the weeks ahead,” Andrew Baehr, head of product at CoinDesk Indices, told Fortune.

And although these market pressures are adding up in the short term, they remain “finite,” and investors, from a historical perspective, can expect some sort of resolution, adds Baehr, who compared the situation to the market “cleaning up dirty dishes. Potential waves of new adoption can scale larger and can be a source of support to drive prices higher.”

What about the ‘Trump Trade’?

As the market looks for a way out of the almost-four-month rut, some are looking toward the possibility of a “Trump Trade” to turbocharge the market—the term for a rally toward the year’s end in the scenario of the former president’s victory in November’s election. Following last week’s disastrous presidential debate for President Joe Biden, some see the odds of a crypto-friendly president growing.

In recent months, Trump has sought to mine every dollar and vote from the crypto industry that he can, including courting executives of publicly traded Bitcoin miners CleanSpark and Riot Platforms to an event at Mar-a-Lago. Weeks before that meeting, Trump allegedly turned to Elon Musk for advice on carving out his crypto policy, Bloomberg reported. His presidential campaign has also begun to accept donations via any crypto asset accepted through Coinbase.

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