Find the roaches and make a meal: Crypto’s new name of the game

The hot trade in crypto now is no longer pumping coins “to the moon” with tweets full of rocket-ship emojis, but rather trying to find where those roaches are hiding and make a meal out of them. The “cockroach theory” springs to mind: If you see one of those nasty bugs scurrying across the floor, chances are there are plenty more hiding behind the fridge or under the sink.

Some crafty traders have dispatched bots to prowl blockchains in search of highly leveraged positions in danger of forced liquidation because the value of their collateral is no longer enough to back up their . If successful, they get a 10 per cent to 15 per cent cut of the collateral sale — incentives paid out by automated protocols that are meant to protect them from insolvency.

Amid it all, the myth was shattered once and for all that this new crypto financial system was somehow immune to — or even able to benefit from — the economic fundamentals currently punishing the old system.

It was one of the most dramatic weeks in the short history of the cryptocurrency market, bookended by the type of announcements investors fear the most from a counterparty: We're sorry, but we just can't return your money right now. It was a week of margin calls, forced selling and important collateral being exposed as way too illiquid in a time of crisis. There were rumblings of hedge-fund blowups, tales of opportunistic predatory trading, job cuts and loud denials of problems from key players proven wrong almost immediately.

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