Bitcoin Soared Over $1000 In an Hour, Bitfinex Helped Fuel the Rally?

Bitcoin skyrocketed on the evening of April 12 (UTC/GMT+08:00), surging over $1,000 in less than 60 minutes and leaping from a low of $6,786 to $8,100 per coin. Stimulated by the No.1 digital currency’s sudden jump, the rest of the cryptocurrency market also witnessed a strong rebound with some certain coin even rising by 50% in 24 hours.

China’s state-run newspaper Securities Times released an article pointing out that Bitfinex, the third ranked bitcoin exchange by 24 hour volume on CoinMarketCap, was largely responsible for this unexpected bitcoin spike.

The reporter claimed that this pull-up in bitcoin price started from Bitfinex as he observed the spike started at different times for different exchanges, and then arbitrage traders spread to other exchanges.

According to Bitfinex data, Bitcoin soared over $1000 on April 12 with more than 25,000 buy orders for the BTC/USD pair. Based on the price of $7,700 per coin, Bitcoin’s 24-hour turnover reached almost 200 million US dollars, and nearly 15,000 BTC were traded in Bitfinex, accounting for 60% of the total trading volume.

With an increase in cryptocurrency market participants and an upgrade to trading infrastructure, many investors head for the margin trading. At present, multiple digital asset trading platforms favored by Chinese,including Bitfinex, have introduced such service, some even offer up to 20x leverage. Leveraged trading has high risk, for example, 10x leverage accounts may be forced to liquidate assets into cash when cryptocurrency price rose or drop 8%-9%. And 20x leverage accounts will suffer the same fate if the market experiences a 5% fluctuation.

A veteran crypto investor in China told the reporter that Bitfinex has issued USDT(tether), a controversial dollar-pegged token, and used it to buy BTC, popping up bitcoin’s price in a short period of time to liquidate short positions on the platform. Then Bitfinex obtains a large number of BTCs which will be used to exchange USDT again, and the platform is able to reclaim most of the newly-issed USDT and gain large quantities of bitcoins as profit. Bitfinex seems to play this  game from time to time.

Tether , the sister company of Bitfinex, issued another 300 million of USDT on March 22 and most  of them were sent to an address associated with Bitfinex. Actually, Bitfinex , which even equates USDT with USD, shares leadership with Tether, causing critics to further question the legitimacy of Tether.

If the bitcoin sudden surge was manipulated by “ whales” , these whales are just waiting rookie investors to rush to buy bitcoin , and then they are able to sell coins at the top.

Even though bitcoin price has been declining in recent month, the development of the next generation of bitcoin infrastructure hasn’t stopped. And some market observers predict that bitcoin price can recover further sooner or later.

Pantera Capital Management, a crypto hedge fund with more than $800 million in assets, , told its customers in their April newsletter that Bitcoin price has reached its probable low at $6,500 , and that it is “highly likely” its price will move above $20,000 this year, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal on April 13.

Tom Lee, a wall street bull and the managing partner at Fundstrat Global Advisors, are also confident on bitcoin’s future, saying that “bitcoin will likely rally again and reach $25,000 by the end of the year.”

Bitcoin is slowly gaining its momentum, but it has not broken out of the downtrend channel. It remains to be seen whether the cryptocurrency market has turn the tide from bearish to bullish, investors should always stay vigilant and pay attention to cryptocurrency portfolio and positions.

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