Bitcoin Price Rally in December 2017 Was Orchestrated by One Whale: Research

Bitcoin Price Rally in December 2017 Was Orchestrated by One Whale: Research

Researchers behind an earlier study claiming that US Dollar Tether (USDT) was the cause of the 2017 Bitcoin bull market peak now claim that a single large holder drove the price upwards. The development was reported by Bloomberg on November 4.

The revelation came from the same two researchers - John Griffin, a professor at the University of Texas and Amin Shams, an assistant professor at Ohio State University - who previous year in a research paper claimed that the spike in prices of Bitcoin was the result of market manipulation. Both Bitfinex and Tether have rejected these claims, and have even issued separate statements saying they're aware of "unpublished and non-peer reviewed paper falsely positing that Tether issuances are responsible for manipulating the cryptocurrency market".

"Our results suggest instead of thousands of investors moving the price of Bitcoin, it's just one large one", Griffin told Bloomberg.

Rather than indicating demand from cash investors, they argued that these patterns aligned with a "supply-based hypothesis of unbacked digital money inflating cryptocurrency prices". Updates or not, the paper lacks academic rigor. Moreover, according them, simulations show that these patterns are highly unlikely to be due to chance.

They say the single largest player on Bitfinex "either exhibited clairvoyant market timing or exerted an extremely large price impact on Bitcoin that is not observed in the aggregate flows from other small traders". Interestingly, Bitfinex and Tether are not new to controversies.

Griffin and Shams' paper was initially published previous year and claimed USDT was used to "stabilize and manipulate" BTC prices back in 2017.

In 2017, the two firms received subpoenas from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The lawsuit he was referring to was filed by the New York Attorney General over an alleged $850 million "cover-up." He also questioned the data sets used to support the claims. The suspect, in according with Polish rules preventing the release of full names, was identified as Ivan M.L.by the county's National Prosecutor's Office.

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