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Short Traders Suffer $200M in Losses as Ether, Cardano Lead Crypto Majors' Gains

Traders betting on a market-wide decline were caught off guard as a broad recovery in the past 24 hours saw $200 million in shorts, or bets against price rises, getting liquidated.

The amount added to the more than $150 million in shorts liquidated earlier this week as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) broke above key resistance levels, and major tokens like XRP and solana (SOL) rose as much as 20%. Similar levels of liquidation on short trades haven't been seen since October, data from Coinglass shows.

Ether-tracked futures experienced $110 million in both short and long liquidations, the most among all major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin futures saw $77 million in liquidations, while avalanche (AVAX) and gala (GALA) each saw $4.5 million in losses after volatile trading on Wednesday.

Crypto exchange OKX took the lion’s share of these liquidations at over $128 million, followed by Binance at $42 million. Overall, the price surge saw crypto's total market capitalization increase by 3.5% in the past 24 hours, CoinGecko data shows.

Bitcoin rallied above $18,000 on Thursday after pushing the threshold for the 10th time in 12 days on Wednesday. Ether rose 4.5% to over $1,400 in the past 24 hours, while cardano (ADA) added as much as 5% before retreating.

QCP Capital sees a strong breakout above $18,000 for bitcoin as a key indicator of recovery, with the next level after that at $28,000.

“Despite the mini-rally, BTC is still trading in an extremely tight falling wedge – with $18,000 the key breakout level to the top side,” the fund said in a Telegram broadcast last week. “ETH continues looking decidedly more bullish than BTC, although it too is still trading within a consolidation pattern."

Consolidation in technical analysis refers to an asset oscillating between a well-defined pattern of trading levels. Consolidation is generally interpreted as market indecisiveness, which ends when the asset's price moves above or below the trading pattern.