Bitcoin prices were manipulated

Bitcoin price hits four-month low amid Wednesday crypto slump

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"Tether seems to be used to stabilize and manipulate Bitcoin prices", said Professor John Griffin and Amin Shams in their research paper.

The record growth in bitcoin previous year was actually a coordinated market manipulation, according to recent research by University of Texas Finance Professor John Griffin.

The algorithms the two developed were able to "cluster groups of related bitcoin wallets", according to the study.

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Writing in a 66-page report titled "Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?", Griffin and Shams argue that tether, a "stablecoin" that is allegedly backed by United States dollars at a 1:1 ratio, has been repeatedly used to provide price support for bitcoin during market downturns.

The study focuses primarily on the supply-based explanation for the link, but the researchers also note that the demand for bitcoin can create a similar demand for tether, particularly by investors who cannot move large sums of money into cryptocurrency directly. Twitter accounts and websites such as Tether Printer which tracks the movement of new tokens issued by Tether's central organization show that millions of dollars' worth of USDT were printed through the 2017 and early 2018 market seasons - correlated with the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Whenever bitcoin fell, tether was used to buy it to prop up the price of the leading crypto. Since exchanges often face difficulties finding the banking partners and achieving the regulatory compliance necessary to offer fiat-to-crypto trading pairs, many altcoin exchanges use tether as a proxy for physical Dollars.

Questions about Tether and Bitfinex have dogged the cryptocurrency world since past year, when Bitfinex lost banking relationships yet continued to operate, Bloomberg reported.

Both firms were subpoenaed in December by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which was seeking proof that Tether is backed by a reserve of U.S. dollars, as it claims.

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