The price of Bitcoin reached $19,873 on Coinbase on Nov. 30, breaking above $19,000 in a surprising recovery rally. Although many in the cryptocurrency sector a celebrating BTC achieving an all-time high, it has not just yet.
On Coinbase, the price of Bitcoin hit its peak at $19,891 in December 2017. The all-time high price on Coinbase is particularly important because it has consistently remained as the top U.S. exchange for the past several years.
Also, some top global exchanges like Binance launched in mid-2017. An argument could be made that an exchange that has been around since 2012 carries more significance in terms of historical price data and to date, Coinbase remains one of the primary exchanges used by retail investors.
2017 was a tumultuous period for cryptocurrencies. By the time Bitcoin achieved a new all-time high, it saw 30% to 50% price swings in a week as the cryptocurrency exchange market showed a lack of liquidity.
Currently, the record highs differ by nearly $300 between exchanges. For instance, on Kraken and Bitstamp, BTC peaked at $19,660 and $19,666, respectively. Today, BTC price hit a new all-time high at both exchanges.
On Binance and Huobi, BTC reached a top at $19,799 and $19,867, both of which were also achieved on Nov. 30.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is yet to see a new record high on Bitfinex, Coinbase, and Gemini, which are also coincidentally known as the exchange for whales due to their high liquidity.
In 2017 Coinbase was a leading exchange in terms of trading volume, and in the minds of many traders, seeing the price surpass its previous all-time high would provide further confirmation that a bull market has officially started.
For many traders, $20,000 is the barrier that needs to be broken as it will officially concretize a new all-time high for the top-ranked digital asset.
A pseudonymous trader known as “Bitcoin Jack” pinpointed Bitfinex as the most liquid exchange during this ongoing rally. Hence, considering that Gemini and Coinbase’s record highs are near Bitfinex, the $19,873 level makes an accurate all-time high. He said:
“Careful out there as liquidity to open interest ratios took a hit across most exchanges. It means that, until liquidity gets replenished, the amount of liquidity vs OI is relatively low allowing for less contained cascades to both sides As always, Finex is the liquidity king.”
On-chain analysts, including CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju, predicted that whales would try front-run the all-time high and apply significant selling pressure.
As Bitcoin neared its record high on Coinbase, a sudden sell-off occurred, taking BTC to as low as $18,998 within two hours.
Following the heightened level of volatility and a whale-induced sell-off, the futures market’s open interest took a hit, and exchange order books have been hindered.
There are two scenarios in the near term that Bitcoin could see after its first attempt to break out of its all-time high.
First, the momentum may continue in the Asian markets during their morning session and this could catalyze buyer demand to increase again.
Second, Bitcoin could consolidate under the all-time high at $19,873, possibly ranging between $19,000 and $19,873. This scenario is the most ideal for BTC to see a sustainable rally, as it would prevent the derivatives market from getting overheated.