Bitcoin (BTC) Crashes to $3,600 with Suspicions of Market Manipulation

BTC prices tumbled twice in 24 hours, abandoning the previous tier just above $4,000.

Bitcoin (BTC) saw two crashes in 24 hours, abandoning the $4,000 tier and cutting short a promising altcoin rally. The cryptocurrency lost $200 between 16:00 and 16:30 UTC on Thursday in the second large slide for the day. Before that, prices had returned to $3,800.

The sudden crash raised doubts about some form of market manipulation or at least artificial support of the $4,000 level. The recent drops were connected with significant activity in the Binance Tether (USDT) wallet, suggesting that the previous active trading may have been due to a liquidity injection of USDT.

The spread of USDT in the ecosystem has taken a new form as not only Bitfinex carries the coin.

At the same time, nearly 13 million USDT left the Tether treasury on January 10. A tranche of 9.99 million landed on Kraken, while another transaction of 2.997 million went to the Bitfinex wallet. The amounts of USDT are relatively small compared to the general BTC volumes, but concerted trades are always possible with the additional liquidity.

The latest BTC crash also cut short the altcoin rally, hitting especially hard TRON (TRX), which fell from a recent peak at $0.033 to $0.026. The asset once again slid below USDT and ceded its 8th place on CoinMarketCap. 

Once again, BTC prices showed that stability was elusive, and even periods with stagnant prices allowed for sudden volatility. More than 57% of BTC volumes are in the USDT pairs, giving the stablecoin extraordinary influence over the markets. The total USDT supply is traded more than twice over every day (272%), and the coin remains extremely active on several major exchanges.

The level of BTC transactions has picked up in the past months, reaching a temporary peak of more than 327,000 in 24 hours. However, some believe the transactions are once again a sign of an accelerated movement of funds between whale wallets or to exchanges.

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