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The Current Bitcoin Market Scenario: Price Manipulation by Whales

The Current Bitcoin Market Scenario: Price Manipulation by Whales

The crypto markets started the last week with a different Euphoria. Each and every trader watched as Bitcoin rallied past $7000 to an astonishing $8000. However, at the dawn of Friday, 17th May they woke up to a different scenario. The bitcoin gap just went lower by about 20% or over $1500. As a result of that, the rest of the crypto market was brought down. Some traders were caught unawares while others had foreseen it. The question on every person’s mind was what just happened and which direction should be taken now.

It all started on the Bitstamp exchange at about 10 pm ET on Thursday, 16th May. At that time, numerous crypto traders honed in the rather suspicious sell wall. The trader placed a sell order for 3,645BTC (c. $22m) on the exchange. It was formed at a moment when the Bitcoin market liquidity was at its lowest. It especially happens on a singular exchange.

The immediate reaction was to reduce the price of Bitcoin on Bitstamp. You could even view the spread in cost between other exchanges and Bitstamp. Such exchanges could include Kraken and Coinbase. As a result of the crypto market arbitrage, the prices on other similar exchanges followed the same track. Bitcoin would fall across the board. The rest of the market sank. It is due to the correlation of the other crypto assets with bitcoin. However, there was far more on the move than just a mere massive Bitcoin selling.

What occurred with the wall was an example of cryptocurrency spoofing. On a clear observation, one could notice that the selling wall decreased by the coming of more orders that matched it. This kept occurring as Bitcoin passed through $7500, then $7000 and thereby hitting around $6200. In the end, the sell was completely consumed albeit at a seemingly reduced price.

Then, once the cost had hit around the $6200 level, there was another massive buy well that was created on the same exchange ($11m). It could have brought about the sudden recovery that we have noticed in the price greater than $7000. It gave a clear evident of cryptocurrency spoofing in reality.

The gentleman or lady behind this doing was clearly attempting to impact the price. There are very few surplus explanations to answer why they would have issued an order of that magnitude at that moment. If an individual had the desire to trade a huge block of Bitcoin at the most suitable price, they would attempt to facilitate an OTC deal. It would be of minimum impact on the market.

Furthermore, the timing of a massive buy wall immediately after the trade wall coming to light is suspicious. It is either the orders were greatly coordinated or completed by rather the same party. Similarly, this can also occur on the reverse as sellers place large buy wells. Back in April, something of the sought happened. It was as an individual trader placed a massive order through. It was at a seemingly illiquid moment.

Spoofing is something that is considered illegal at the traditional financial markets. However, it is given the unlimited character of the cryptocurrency markets. On the other hand, whales tend to have free reign. However, a question pops up, why would a whale have an urge to tank the market in that way? The solution could lie in a completely distinct market.

Ruchi Ramaswamy

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