A scheduled maintenance for BitMEX, a $150 Tether move from hot wallet to Bitfinex, and a massive BTC pump right after. One couldn’t help but notice a coordinated set of events on Tuesday night which pumped the crypto-market significantly, and perhaps unethically.
While the digital asset trading market receives flak for market manipulation, bot activity, and “whales” driving asset prices, prominent exchanges getting in on the trading action is a move nothing short of despicable.
Although no clear written evidence of the aforementioned price pump exists – it could VERY WELL be unrelated events appearing to some as suspicious – a look at the trading data speaks volumes to that regard.
Four days earlier, Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX) passed around a notification for its users:
(Source: BitMEX Blog)
Such downtimes are typical of the high-leverage graveyard for amateur traders.
Yesterday, Twitter users pointed out controversial stablecoin Tether moved over $100 million from a hot wallet to a Bitfinex wallet:
tether wasnt issued, just moved from tether hot wallet to bfx
— Josh Olszewicz (@CarpeNoctom) August 21, 2018
The move occurred right when BTCUSDSHORTS on TradingView reached an all-time-high for 2018:
Fast forward to UTC 01:00 on August 22, and Bitfinex pump volume erupted right up after BitMEX enforced its scheduled downtime – after exactly the grand total of 1 minute, observed anecdotally.
With BitMEX locked out, and several users in the lurch after a tough week of tight range trading and non-existential profits, BTC suddenly gained $500 in less than 20 minutes.
A glance at Bitfinex charts proves:
(Source: Trading View)
The ruckus continued for about 30 mins – the time taken by BitMEX to fortify its trading engines – with the market dumping right after.
Most of the altcoins, like always, experienced a significant pump and faced an inevitable plunge in prices after BTC longs started their sell-off.
— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) August 22, 2018
Although the market did not dip as drastically as last week, the suspicious coordination of such events begs the questions: How vastly manipulated are the crypto-trading markets? How communicative with each other are the owners of all digital asset exchanges? And how does cryptocurrency turn into a world-class, credible asset after such an instance?
Only time could possibly answer all the above, but one thing’s for sure – Regulation is inevitable, and perhaps even required, for the digital asset sector.