University researchers have noticed an interesting trendwhen it came to atmospheric jump in the price of bitcoin last year: They found that about half of bitcoin price increases last year happened after another cryptocurrency, Tether, flowed from one crypto exchange — Bitfinex — to other exchanges.
This is significant as Tether, which is said to be pegged to the U.S. dollar and created by Bitfinex’s owners, could be used to buy other digital currencies, such as bitcoin. Even so, Bitfinex’s Chief Executive J.L. van der Velde said in a statement, “Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of Bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex,” The New York Times reported.
That statement comes as a study by University of Texas Finance Professor John Griffin – along with graduate student Amin Shams – is raising questions as to whether bitcoin’s remarkable rise in 2017 was not, in fact, caused by genuine demand from investors. The authors found that Tether was used to purchase bitcoin at pivotal points when the price of the cryptocurrency was falling, according to CNBC.
“It was creating price support for bitcoin, and over the period that we examined, had huge price effects,” Griffin told CNBC. “Our research would indicate that there are sophisticated people harnessing investor interest for their benefit.”
More specifically, Griffin and Shams, honed in on 87 periods when Tether flowed from Bitfinex to other exchanges between March 2017 and March 2018, a report by Entrepreneur noted. And they found that “these 87 events account for less than 1 percent of our time series (over the period from the beginning of March 2017 to the end of March 2018), yet are associated with 50 percent of bitcoin’s compounded return, and 64 percent of the returns on six other large cryptocurrencies (Dash, Ethereum Classic, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Zcash).”
Still, The New York Times reported that the paper’s authors don’t have documents or emails that show Bitfinex knew about the potential price manipulation — and, if that was in fact the case, who might have behind those moves. Griffin and Shams also found that the pattern extends to price increases of Zcash and Ether — both digital currencies that one can purchase with Tether. Notably, these patterns came to a halt after Bitfinex stopped issuing new Tether tokens.
Claims of bitcoin price manipulation are not new: Griffin’s paper comes a few months after researchers Neil Gandal, JT Hamrick, Tyler Moore, and Tali Oberman published a paper on bitcoin price manipulation in 2013, which describes the extent to which the bitcoin ecosystem is controlled by bad actors. According to TechCrunch, the paper, entitled “Price Manipulation in the Bitcoin Ecosystem,” appears in an issue of the Journal of Monetary Economics. The paper claims “suspicious trading activity likely caused the unprecedented spike in the USD-BTC exchange rate in late 2013, when the rate jumped from around $150 to more than $1,000 in two months.”
On Tuesday (June 12), bitcoin hit its lowest price level since February, briefly dipping below the $6,500 mark, Bloomberg reported. On Wednesday, (June 13) at 4:40pm, the price of bitcoin was $6,260.34, according to CoinDesk. The popular cryptocurrency hit a high of $19,511 in December, following a whopping 1,400 percent rise in 2017
Friend of BTC Mike Novogratz Has Laid Off 13 Employees
It’s one thing to say that bitcoin and crypto in general are doing well, but crypto-based companies? That could be an entirely different story, and Mike Novogratz may be proof of that
Mike Novogratz Is Laying Off Staff Members
Novogratz is famous for building Galaxy Digital, a commercial crypto bank. It was announced that the company has laid off about 13 individual workers – approximately 15 percent of its total employees – back in January, though at press time, it doesn’t look like these layoffs occurred in any single department.
Galaxy Digital is comprised of several different arenas including asset management, principle investments and advisory services. All the departments are still functioning at the time of writing, and the layoffs appear to have occurred throughout multiple departments rather than just one.
People familiar with the situation have said that the layoffs are nothing new, and typical of Galaxy Digital at the end of each year. The company doesn’t appear to be any imminent danger, considering these sources say that approximately 80 staff members still remain onboard and the company is now hiring for several new roles, though at press time, it doesn’t appear that any such roles are being advertised on LinkedIn or job search platforms.
Another anonymous employee involved with Galaxy Digital claims that the company had sought to really build up its asset management department and did so in considerably shorter time than what was originally expected. Thus, the department has become “overbuilt” and executives thought it best to lay off certain staff members before things become too large or uncontrollable.
Novogratz has always been a big bitcoin advocate. In a recent interview with CNBC, he made headlines when he stated that 2020 would be a big year for bitcoin, and that the currency was likely to surge past its $20,000 all-time high (attained in December of 2017) before 2021 rang in.
Bitcoin Is Becoming So Much More
He further explained that bitcoin was no longer being used for speculative purposes, and that it was now comparable to gold in its ability to “store value” and retain one’s wealth during periods of economic uncertainty. He stated:
Right now, bitcoin feels a little frenzied, and we could see it surge up, but I think by the end of the year, we could certainly take out the old highs, or at least we go to the old highs… Coming out of the ashes, bitcoin has really developed its own lane as a store of value… The Chinese are about to pull two giant bazookas out and stimulate the heck out of the second-largest economy in the world. That’s going to be good for Chinese stocks at one point, but that stimulus always finds its way around the world, so oil prices end up coming back up, and you get another surge of growth.
Ethereum News Today – Headlines for February 19
- Ethereum’s bullish action reverses any pullbacks
- Eth is leading in terms of gains among the top 10
- Ethereum has progressed massively in the DeFi sector
Ethereum News Today – the digital currency market has yet seen the bulls return. The total market cap of all cryptos has increased by $15 billion in the last 24-hours and is heading to the $300 billion mark once more. Bitcoin is back into the five-figure territory. However, the major player here has been Ethereum. Since the price of Ether dipped earlier in the week, it has gone on to regain 16% to trade at $285. The asset has also posted 120% so far. Meaning its gains have been triple that of BTC. According to industry analysts, Ethereum’s trading volume has increased in the last week.
Ether Price is Still Low Compared to its ATH
Ethereum is well far from its all-time high price position. The coin can be considered as being in the bear market. The only way this can change is if it breaks the $400 mark. At the beginning of today the price of ETH still 80% down from the ATH. Even after the recent price rally, Ether’s value is still viewed as an excellent buy with great potential to go upwards. Towards the end of 2019 Ethereum was hugely criticized for the delay in pushing its Serenity update out as well as the activation of the Muir Glacier fork designed to extend the difficulty bomb. ETH developers were left frustrated by this and investors grew annoyed as ETH price slumped to $120.
This year has ushered in a new level of optimism for the Ether network with several promises including the first stage of the ETH 2.0 protocol will be launched sometime this year and will culminate in a new era with fresh staking opportunities on the Ethereum Blockchain. Other PoS tokens like Tezos have done very well in recent times as exchanges have given consumers staking rewards that make it easier for everyone to be involved in the process and earn money from crypto.
Ethereum Use Cases in DeFi
Ethereum’s burgeoning DeFi market has placed ETH as the Internet’s money if turns out to be the foundation of this new financial framework. There have been some hiccups with DeFi recently. Although every new technology must go through teething pains. ETH is increasingly used in crypto gaming as well. It is also the standard platform to store non-fungible tokens. Nevertheless, despite the claims of rival platforms like Tron and EOS, Ether is still an industry standard when it comes to DeFi and smart contracts. After the extended bear market, the year 2020 will usher in an era were Ethereum will shine again.
‘Crypto Anthem’ Calls Out Industry Tribalism, Pumps Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, Stellar and Chainlink
Call it the end of crypto tribalism and puerile antics as we know it.
A new recording dedicated to the developers behind a number of leading cryptocurrency projects just dropped on Monday. Penned by Joshua Mapperson, the head of content at Aelf Blockchain, and produced by David Verity, ‘Crypto Anthem’ features a long list of cryptocurrency and blockchain projects, including Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Dash, Stellar, Chainlink, Tether, Monero, IOST, VeChain, Ontology and the song’s sponsor: Aelf.
The songwriters are hoping the EDM track can bring the bickering and deeply divided cryptocurrency community back from the edge of destruction.
In the wake of philosophical divisions, hard forks, DApp wars, Satoshi battles, adoption jockeying, and one team of developers shredding another over having better technology and faster transaction speeds, tribalism among the 2,000-plus projects remains an existential threat to the industry, as the quest for decentralization seems unable to prevent crypto kings and queens from slaying one another.
With competition biting deep, the anthem shines the light on blockchain brands that could leverage their unity in order to challenge the status quo instead of driving wedges that tarnish the industry.
In a tweet last year, Chris Burniske, a partner at Placeholder, a New York venture firm that specializes in cryptoassets, encapsulates how the movement is shooting itself in the foot.
“Tribalism is the biggest drain on crypto’s human resources that I see today. Tribal toxicity drives newcomers away, has caused valuable talent to leave the industry, and clouds the thinking of the committed.
To those that aren’t deep in crypto, we all look like part of the same movement. It makes no sense that a movement attack itself. We end up looking incoherent, nasty, and immature. Who wants to join such a movement?”
According to the team behind ‘Crypto Anthem’,
“There are constant issues surrounding crypto twitter and other crypto communities in relation to project rivalry, scams, false claims and accusations that can sometimes be quite toxic. This song hopes to drive past all these problems and focus on what really matters, crypto is here and here to stay. It doesn’t matter if your platform has more dapps on it, or your project creates a better social media following. What matters is that we are all pioneers in an emerging technology that will revolutionize the world.”