This morning, Bitcoin is finally on a path back up to $7,000.00. No, this is not the start of a major bull run but it is a sign that some tinkering may have been going on during the recent BitMEX upgrade, which saw a number of users use access to the platform during planned downtime. Whilst this is hardly significant, the fact Bitcoin surged at this time is.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is valued at $6,688.79, up 3.64%. Bitcoin is edging ever closer to $7,000.00, with a dominance of over 53%, it’s doing quite a good job of pulling the rest of the markets up too. XRP is up 1.84%, Bitcoin Cash is up 2.38%, EOS is up 3.31% and Stellar is up 6.42%. The trend is mostly down to correction, but Bitcoins sudden positivity is helping out too by the looks of it.
What happened with BitMEX?
BitMEX had a planned upgrade for maintenance which was set to be rolled out yesterday (21st August). During this upgrade, users could not log in to BitMEX in order to adjust their trade orders and as a result of this, short contracts were liquidated, meaning the price of Bitcoin was able to move upwards. This seems to be a form of indirect market manipulation in a sense.
Apart from the issue with users not being able to log in, the rest of the upgrade was rolled out successfully, according to CCN, BitMEX had commented on the situation yesterday:
“Some users are reporting difficulty in logging in. We are diagnosing. We have postponed resumption of trading for 5 minutes to 01:35. We will report back shortly. Trading resumption deferred until login is stable. We will report back shortly. Login has stabilized. We encountered a large DDoS upon restarting web services. We will resume trading at 02:00 UTC (in 7 minutes).”
Everything is now back to normal, thankfully.
The manipulation theory deepens however
According to CCN:
“Analysts have said that the surge in the price of Bitcoin demonstrated manipulation in the market by large-scale retail traders that took advantage of the downtime of BitMEX, a period in which investors can no longer short the market, to drive up the price of Bitcoin.
Alex Kruger, a cryptocurrency trader and trading analyst at large FX market maker, said that the BTC price surge on August 22 has shown the concerns of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding market manipulation.”
Furthermore, Kruger has said:
“The BTC lightning +7% breakout during Bitmex’s downtime shows why odds of SEC approving the CBOE bitcoin ETF proposal should be close to zero. Even if no manipulation (that’s debatable) this stresses the importance of BitMEX, a fully unregulated market with 40% market share.”
See more for yourself, here.
Is this a problem for Bitcoin ETFs?
Yes, it seems so. If Kruger is right, this could indeed ring alarm bells within the SEC. Why would they approve ETF’s when such an insignificant event has enabled a significant level of market manipulation. There is of course no evidence of market manipulation, but the theories here do add up. Above all, this goes against the idea that the markets are becoming less volatile and more mature and, simply highlights realistically just how volatile the markets still are.
Over time, this may change, but if you ask the experts if they think the markets are ready for a Bitcoin ETF, they will probably say no, citing instances such as this one that are making it very difficult for the SEC to make an executive decisions.