According to data from CryptoCompare, during a span of 15 minutes, between 00:05 UTC and 00:20 on Sunday (May 10), which is approximately 48 hours before Bitcoin's next (third) halving, the average price of Bitcoin across the exchanges tracked by the CryptoCompare Index dropped from $9,483 to $8,327, i.e. a loss of 12.2%.
Over on Coinbase, the crash was slightly less severe, with the Bitcoin price dropping from $9,480 to $8,434 during this same 15-minute period:
There were complaints on Twitter from traders, such as the one below, who found that Coinbase was having some issues coping with this kind of price volatility:
Bitcoin down $1,500 in less than an hour. Meanwhile at Coinbase pic.twitter.com/ixc2Be5xZU— Hipster (@Hipster_Trader) May 10, 2020
Popular crypto analyst Josh Rager had this to say roughly five minutes after the crash:
Tick tock it's officially Sunday UTC, time to let the $BTC games begin— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) May 10, 2020
$9100 couldn't hold - that was a key area
Bitcoin looks like it hit local top and to be heading down to $7k land if this closes below $8400 (grey box)
Expect more volatility today - seat belts pic.twitter.com/t5DVJB149x
And around one hour later, Scott Melker, a crypto trader at Texas West Capital, said that after the "real deal selling we just witnessed" he wanted to wait a bit to see how things shake out:
That was the highest hourly volume candle since the epic crypto doom fest on March 12th. I won't be rushing into a position until this shakes out a bit. That was some real deal selling we just witnessed.— The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) May 10, 2020
Crypto analytics platform Santiment noticed a huge spike in the number of mentions of Bitcoin across social media platforms shortly after the flash crash:
Our tracked social volume for $BTC mentions across social platforms has exploded with the sudden 15-minute drop from $9,600 to a low of around $8,100. Another inevitable social volume spike will signal prices are likely to rebound, so watch closely. https://t.co/7lC9YndDON pic.twitter.com/z9iWp9kaeX— Santiment (@santimentfeed) May 10, 2020
As usual, two of Bitcoin's harshest critics, Professor Nouriel Roubini (aka 'Dr. Doom") and gold bug Peter Schiff, could not wait to take delight in Bitcoin's temporary misfortune:
Bitcoin crashes by 15% in 7 minutes on NO news: a rigged, totally manipulated, whales-controlled market where most transactions (90%) volumes are false as exchanges pretend to have liquidity they don't have. Massive pump & dump, spoofing, front running, wash trading! Total Scam!— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) May 10, 2020
Looks like some of the #Bitcoin speculators who bought in anticipation of the halving couldn't wait for the actual fact to start selling. As more sellers jump the gun, by the time the fact occurs, the profits those buying the rumor were hoping to cash in on may already be gone.— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) May 10, 2020
As for where we go from here, Rager says that the good news is that "we're holding steady at $8,600", and that if "we can hold $8,600, that's going to be a key." He goes on to say that if Bitcoin can hold here, then bounce up to $9,150, "it'll probably continue to move on up." However, if Bitcoin rejects the $9,100 or $9,000 level, "it's probably going to continue on back down from there."
Lastly, with regard to the altcoins, with the exception of the stablecoins (such as Tether), in general, they have not been spared from this carnage, suffering comparable losses against USD.
For example, Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Binance Coin (BNB) currently down 10.98%, 11.02%, 12.20%, 12.36%, and 11.94% respectively.