The Bitcoin universe is confronted with another theory around the incredible boom in 2017. Additionally, Tether (USDT) has once again become the source of criticism. A new theory suggests that a concentrated campaign of price manipulation may have accounted for at least half of the increase in the price of Bitcoin last year. Nathaniel POPPER from The New York Times published an interesting article on the new theory.
According to a new paper by University of Texas finance professor John GRIFFIN, the Bitcoin price may have been artificially inflated. In essence, the paper posits a theory that a select few used the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex to manipulate the price. The New York Times writes:
Mr. Griffin looked at the flow of digital tokens going in and out of Bitfinex and identified several distinct patterns that suggest that someone or some people at the exchange successfully worked to push up prices when they sagged at other exchanges. To do that, the person or people used a secondary virtual currency, known as Tether, which was created and sold by the owners of Bitfinex, to buy up those other cryptocurrencies.
The paper presents a credible theory based on solid publicly available evidence, but it doesn’t prove anything for sure. John GRIFFIN has a successful history of spotting fraud in financial markets and hence earned some credibility. A paper published last year by a team of Israeli and American researchers said much of Bitcoin’s big price increase in 2013 was caused by a campaign of price manipulation at what was then the biggest exchange, Mt. Gox.