Retail Investors Are Buying the Bitcoin Institutions Are Selling, Traders Say

As institutions unload bitcoin (BTC) along with stocks as part of the coronavirus-driven global sell-off, cryptocurrency’s traditional base – retail investors – is doing most of the buying, market participants said.

And while pricing screens may still be flashing red, business is brisk at many trading platforms.

“We've already done more volume in March than all cumulative volume previously,” said River Financial CEO Alex Leishman, head of a bitcoin-centric brokerage in San Francisco that launched three months ago. “About 20 percent of all of our clients have signed up this month...We're seeing record interest from first-time bitcoin buyers.”

River Financial is relatively small, with just under 10,000 active user accounts, but this volume surge appears to be rippling across markets. Gemini’s head of communications, Carolyn Vadino, confirmed the New York-based crypto exchange saw a surge in activity over the weekend.

“During this time of market uncertainty we continue to expect to see higher volumes than normal,” Vadino said.

Likewise, one over-the-counter (OTC) trader in Latin America, who provides liquidity to several of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, said his desk has seen “two to three times” the normal buy orders since the price dropped dramatically on Thursday.

“You still have a lot of people who are long that are trying to get out,” said the trader, who did not want to be named. “It’s more related to hedge funds liquidating than anything else...there’s a lot of bitcoin-collateralized dollar loans out there to miners or people who are long crypto.” Read More...

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