As we probably all remember, December 2017 ended with the establishment of an unchallenged ATH Bitcoin of about $20,000. Today there is a renewed discussion about the reasons that were or could have been behind such a massive increase in the course of the “king cryptocurrency”. According to two scientists from the USA, this price movement was manipulated by one (yes, one!) whale. Let us recall some facts and take a closer look at the matter.

Was ATH Bitcoin in 2017 the result of manipulation?

The subject of price manipulation in the cryptocurrency market has been circulating in the industry for several years. Professor John M. Griffin from Texas University and assistant professor Amin Shams from Ohio State University produced, as you know, in 2018 a document in which they proved that ATH bitcoin from December 2017 was nothing more than the effect of price manipulation.

The study was published in its original version last year. The authors stated that the sharp rise in bitcoin prices in 2017 was caused by “probably market manipulation”. The study was based on a thesis that one of the most frequently used stablecoins – the Tether (USDT) – was used to overvalue BTC. Analyzing the investments in the Tether, Griffin and Shams discovered that Tether’s main purchases were synchronized over time with market downturns to stabilize the bottom.

The theory of professors has recently been updated with new research showing that price manipulation was caused by one large entity and was most likely carried out on the stock market BitFinex.

The results of our research suggest that instead of thousands of investors moving the price of Bitcoin, it was only one – and it was a big one. Over the years, people will be surprised to learn that investors have given billions to people they didn’t know […] This one big player or entity was clearly aware of what was happening in the market or had a very big impact on the Bitcoin price, which is not seen in the case of flows from other smaller traders.

Controversy over Tether and Bitfinex

One company named iFinex owns both BitFinex and Tether. For a long time now there have been fierce disputes and discussions over these names. In April this year, a lawsuit was filed with the US Department of Justice by the Attorney General of New York. The complaint concerned covering the loss of USD 850 million by obtaining access to USDT tokens worth at least USD 700 million from Tether reserves.

The case has already been postponed several times and is still pending an unambiguous decision. Recently, BitFinex won the case before the Supreme Court in New York, which means that the company will not have to provide any documents concerning the use of the Tether until further notice.

What is your opinion on this? What caused the BTC to go up to $20,000 in December 2017? What is the lesson to be learned today Let’s discuss it.