It has revealed that the Bitcoin price surge to $20k in 2017 was caused by the manipulation of one whale.

In 2017, the price of bitcoin spiked and set an all-time high of $20,000. A recent study has revealed that this BTC bull-run was the result of one whale.

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According to the report of Bloomberg, this fact is revealed by two academic professors John Griffin and Amin Shamas. In 2018, both John Griffin from the University of Texas and Amin Shamas from the Ohio State University had together published a paper.

This paper says that the price surge of Bitcoin in 2017 was not the result of a natural market movement rather it was the result of market manipulation.

This paper has been updated recently which reveals that one large whale has caused this price surge by using the stable coin Tether (USDT) in the transactions. And this large whale uses the Bitfinex crypto exchange for the transactions.

According to the Bloomberg report, Texas professor John Griffin stated:

Our results suggest instead of thousands of investors moving the price of Bitcoin, it’s just one large one. Years from now, people will be surprised to learn that investors handed over billions to people they didn’t know and who faced little oversight.


Tether has been affecting bitcoin price in the past and has been under the accusations of market manipulation. The analyst says that each time Tether prints some batches of un-backed USDT and it is then used for bitcoin purchases and as a result price spikes.

This new paper suggests that this is unlikely due to a chance as it states:

This pattern is only present in periods following printing of Tether, driven by a single large account holder, and  not observed by other exchanges. Simulations show that these patterns are highly unlikely to be due to chance. This one large player or entity either exhibited clairvoyant market timing or exerted an extremely large price impact on Bitcoin that is not observed in aggregate flows from other small traders.

However, Tether has rejected this claim of being involved in manipulation and the main attorney of the company, Stuart Hoegner says that the paper is backed by poor data and calls it as foundationally flawed.


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