Bitcoin (BTC) 2017 Rally Caused by Single Whale, Research Shows

The series of $1,000 days that brought BTC to a record above $19,600 could have been the work of one entity, academic research shows.

The great wave of FOMO of 2017 may have been sparked by a single “whale” entity, causing a concerted climb for Bitcoin (BTC), reported Bloomberg. BTC started to rally in the spring of 2017, but accelerated its pace in the last three months of 2017, before entering a year-long bear market.

A new paper has looked at the data from the biggest BTC rally in history. John Griffin, University of Texas professor, and Amin Shams of Ohio State University, are known for pointing out the connection between Tether (USDT) printings and the rise in BTC prices.

Now, the academic duo came back with the even more dramatic claim that the fast rise of BTC was not even the work of several exchanges, but of one single whale.

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

In their past paper, the academics linked BTC price rises to Tether printing. In their new research, they noted that the price action was happening on a single exchange, and semingly from a single account. This matches the observations that a single source of orders on Bitfinex was the cause of BTC price action, which created cascade effects on other exchanges.

Tether and Bitfinex dismissed the previous research, stating it was done with incomplete data. Stuart Hoegner, general counsel of iFinex, rejected the claims, stating that the research was driven by mercenary demands. The research in a way supports the claim that iFinex was manipulating the market, and may be added to the arguments of a recent class-action lawsuit. In fact, the research may have been ordered by the “parasitic lawsuit”, added Hoegner.

In 2019, there were much rarer occasions of BTC price rallies. Still, the pattern of sharp and immediate price climbs, seemingly out of nowhere, add to the observation that lifting the price of BTC may be a concerted effort.

BTC traded around $9,220.77, stagnating after a weekend rally to as high as $9,378. More than 70% of all BTC trading depends on the pairing with USDT.

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