I suspect there were multiple players in that
What I don't understand is this. The buy comes first, clearing out quite a bit of asks. Then, when there is no volume in that range, a large sell comes, most of it at prices lower than where the buy started. Does someone get off on losing money?
If it's done by a single person, then yes, the guy will lose money. So most likely it's accidental.
+1 on accidental - the Mt. Gox UI/ordering process makes this too easy. Though one might be tempted to say that bitcoin attracts trading n00bs, fat finger trades
are not uncommon in the real world, either.
Perhaps the most famous story of a Fat Finger Trade would be that of a trader in Japan who fat fingered a trade in a newly listed company. He meant to sell one solitary share of a company (J-COM) for 610,000 Yen. Instead he entered a trade to sell 610,000 shares for 1 Yen. What’s even more strange is that there were only 50,000 shares publicly listed in J-COM, but the exchange let the order process.
It is estimated that the loss incurred was about $225 million (USD).
But bitcoinica creates volatility with programmed logic, and on this point too, the stock market isn't any better, with the 2010 flash crash
causing 10% drop in 4 minutes, resulting in
A stock market anomaly, the major market indexes dropped by over 9% (including a roughly 7% decline in a roughly 15 minute span at approximately 2:45 pm eastern time on May 6, 2010) before a partial rebound. Temporarily, $1 trillion in market value disappeared. While stock markets do crash, immediate rebounds are unprecedented. The stocks of eight major companies in the S&P 500 fell to one cent per share for a short time, including Accenture, CenterPoint Energy and Exelon; while other stocks, including Sotheby's, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard, increased in value to over $100,000 in price
It seems our new crypt-currency trading system has some of the same misfeatures as traditional trading systems.