Bitcoin (BTC) saw its most successful recovery in history on Jan. 12 after testing $30,000 support, but market participants are already suspicious.
Guggenheim sell advice under scrutiny
Coming even more quickly than its prior fall over the weekend, the comeback marks Bitcoin’s best daily performance ever, both in U.S. dollar and percentage terms. The numbers will be confirmed once the daily candle closes, with press-time levels nearing a local top of $36,600.
No sooner was the recovery underway, however, did concerns appear over the authenticity of recent market movements.
Popular market analyst and Cointelegraph contributor filbfilb argued that the strength of the rally belied what was tantamount to market manipulation — thanks specifically to exchange outages and unofficial advice from asset manager Guggenheim to sell at lower price levels.
“Amazing whats possible when you can bid the market,” part of a series of tweets read.
“Its hard not being a conspiracy theorist when two major exchanges become inoperable and Guggenheim tells people to sell the dip when they arent even filled yet.”
As Cointelegraph reported, Guggenheim’s CIO Scott Minerd advised investors that it was “time to take some money off the table.” The company is awaiting U.S. regulatory permission to enter Bitcoin through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), and Minerd’s words swiftly garnered criticism over deliberately bidding down the price in the meantime.
Exchanges take the heat
For major exchanges Coinbase and Kraken, meanwhile, the publicity headache continued. As Bitcoin’s drop accelerated from $38,000 towards the lows, both trading platforms saw now characteristic outages, causing traders to lose control of orders. The knock-on effect, statistician Willy Woo subsequently warned, impacted the entire market and even made the price dip worse.
“Spot market sell off started around $38k, then Coinbase partially failed, not registering buys, causing its price to go $350 lower than others, this pulled down the index price that futures exchanges use to calculate leverage funding, wrecking bearish havoc on speculative markets,” he explained on Monday.
“Unlike previous crashes in the past 2 years, where over-leveraged markets lead by trader liquidation, this one started on spot markets, then was greatly amplified by a single exchange partially failing, yet did not turn itself off for the good of the ecosystem.”
Woo also queried why futures exchanges did not remove Coinbase from their listings in order to steady the fallout.
Customers appeared little concerned. As noted by software developer and commentator Vijay Boyapati, Coinbase volumes were over 101,200 BTC ($3.6 billion) in the 24 hours to early Tuesday, something which he estimates led to profits of up to $175 million.
“As much as I dislike Coinbase, their IPO is going to be a major catalyst for the entire market when it happens,” he said in accompanying comments.
“A lot of capital from the stock market is going to flow into the #Bitcoin market in this way.”