The Meaning of ‘Ashdraked’ in Crypto Trading

Ashdraked is the total loss of a trader’s entire invested capital, especially as a result of shorting bitcoin.

What is Ashdraked?

The term “Ashdraked” was coined after the activities of Lord Ashdrak, a well-known Romanian bitcoin trader alias in the mid-2010s. Ashdrake was a well-known cryptoskeptic. He firmly adhered to the strategy of shorting BTC – that is, betting that the digital asset would fall in value. He achieved significant success in 2014-15 – a period of precipitous losses when bitcoin lost nearly half its value – and became a well-known person who encouraged traders to take short positions. When bitcoin crossed the $300 mark, Lord Ashdrake went back to shorting the currency – but this time the market didn’t play in his favour.

Prices rose quickly, surpassing $500 and almost reaching $600 – just weeks after reaching the $300 mark. Ashdrake continued to take an exceptionally aggressive short position, which ultimately resulted in him losing all of his invested capital. Ashdrake continues to be a concern for traders. In 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) first offered traders the ability to trade bitcoin futures, meaning they could bet on the price of bitcoin without having to hold the cryptocurrency. The launch of the CBOE was seen as a key test for bitcoin, and the generally cryptosceptical financial press predicted that institutional investors would take large short positions en masse.

This did not happen, with futures showing huge gains in just a few hours. This prompted some high-profile brokers to ban their clients from taking short positions entirely for fear that they too would end up “Ashdrake”. Lord Ashdrake (or someone claiming to be him) is still prominent in the crypto community. In October 2020, he gave an interview to blogger zoomerjd, in which he detailed the sensational incident.

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