My two cents:
The big money shorting the mighty Bitcoin for the Futures market was essentially a one-time play, or rather, twice in January, with back to back first time ever expiring contracts between CME and CBOE. February likely to see similar play, but nowhere near the magnitude of what we saw in Dec/Jan. A huge amount of institutional money has entered the fray at this point, so now it’s more of a balancing act vs. hedging. Cannot let it go too low or risk capitulation of entire market.
My thought is that once Futures are underway and third month has passed, that game plan is played out and it will be pretty much business as usual. Dampening harmonic swings. About the most we can expect is less wild swings since now Bitcoin is essentially shortable in a U.S. Market setting.
More concerning IF EVEN REMOTELY TRUE: Those with enough BTC in the game, a massive trading bot operation, and nothing in the futures market were wise enough to see what the herd mentality was and dumped their BTC with perfect timing against the futures expiration to coincide and coincidentally got most everyone to point the finger at the futures market as the blame. Then they used bots to drive up Bitcoin prices, then drive 'em down again repeatedly, but each time a little further. Look up the Picasso blog post by bitfinex’d to see just how massively manipulated our market is.
The same thing just happened two days ago as all TA’s were point at the top of the downtrend channel that’s been in place since January as all eyes were on the daily to close above this channel to confirm new bull run. People started pouring money in, then Bitcoin and nearly all ALT coins began taking a dive pretty much on cue.
Was it indeed investors taking profit as a few well-placed articles published on the major outlets, or was it manipulation designed to shake the weak hands loose?
I have NO EVIDENCE other than what I personally observed myself on the exchanges over the last several weeks. But it bears noting that it may not be futures market nor even institutional money that’s being trumped up as “pros vs. us ‘amateur’ traders” and we’re getting the circles ran around us.
The one thing I can say beyond a shred of doubt: The market suffers widespread manipulation on all the major exchanges on many, many levels almost beyond comprehension and if you’re going to trade the market, you have to learn to trade successfully within that context.
And even though the market is manipulated, at the end of the day, Bitcoin and blockchain is too big to stop a free-market taking place. We all stand to profit and profit well as early adopters. Just be wise. Be careful. Devise a plan and carry it through. Keep your principles about you and fine-tune and adjust every day, every week, every month because the landscape is constantly changing just as fast.