Bitcoin’s record-setting run took another unprecedented turn on Thursday, as the bitcoin price ripped past $19,000 on cryptocurrency exchange GDAX, leaving a trail of altcoin carnage in its wake. However, the rally was characterized by unusual trading activity, including one of the largest BTC/USD spreads in recent memory.
Bitcoin Price Clips $19,000
The breathtaking climb saw bitcoin rise more than $5,000 in a span of 12 hours. The journey from $17,000 to $18,000 took just fifteen minutes, and the leap from $18,000 to $19,000 was accomplished in five. By 11:30 a.m. ET — the end of the surge — the bitcoin price had reached $19,697 and was threatening to crack $20,000.
This ascent left many people puzzled because it was not replicated on other prominent bitcoin exchanges. Bitstamp, for instance, peaked at $15,995, while Bitfinex only made it to $15,700. Spreads between bitcoin exchanges are expected, but this is undoubtedly the largest percentage BTC/USD spread that bitcoin has seen in recent memory.