Cointelegraph.comDOT FuturesMarket AnalysisMarketsPolkadot

99% gone in 60 seconds: How a Polkadot trader may have crashed DOT futures

Polkadot (DOT) futures at Binance flash-crashed by 99.5%, potentially generating an $8.3 million profit for the ‘trader’ if they used this clever strategy.
On March 5, Polkadot (DOT) experienced a flash crash at Binance perpetual futures which resulted in the contract trading as low at $0.20. While this could have been an honest fat-finger trading mistake, a number of indicators point to a planned-attack.While no hard evidence will likely ever emerge, the open interest increase just 24 hours ahead of the event indicates that an attacker could have generated a $8.3 million profit by manipulating Binance’s matching engine.DOT perpetual futures on Mar. 4, USD pricing. Source: BinanceAs shown above, during the 3-minute candle, $20.4 million worth of DOT contracts traded. Although the swift downside move was a 99.5% flash crash, it did not result in cascading liquidations. Futures contracts liquidations are calculated using the price of spot exchanges. Thus, a flash-crash exclusively on futures prices would not impact most traders. According to Binance: “The Price Index is a bucket of prices from the major Spot Market Exchanges, weighted by their relative volume.”As per Binance’s support website, Polkadot coin-margined futures index price is composed of Kraken (DOT/USD), Binance (DOT/USD), Binance (DOT/BTC), OKEx (DOT/BTC) and Huobi’s (DOT/BTC) market.It is worth noting that this specific contract is coin-margined instead of the more liquid Tether-settled one. Cointelegraph recently analyzed those differences, stating that the Tether-based contract “doesn’t need an active hedge to protect collateral (margin) exposure, thus it’s a better choice for retail …
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