Bitcoin Price Manipulation by Bots Confirmed

According to "Price Manipulation in the Bitcoin Ecosystem" research, Mt Gox bots Willy and Markus "pumped" Bitcoin price from $150 to $1000 in few months
16 January 2018   1135

Researchers from the Tel Aviv University and the American University of Tulsa confirmed information that at the infamous Mt Gox stock exchange fraud was conducted with the help of bots Willy and Markus.

The study "Price Manipulation in the Bitcoin Ecosystem" was published in the Journal of Monetary Economics. The authors of the work analyzed the impact on the bitcoin rate of suspicious activity on the Mt.Gox exchange, as a result of which the value of the crypto currency in just two months increased from $ 150 to $ 1000. Then, fraudulent transactions were made with 600,000 for a total of $ 188 million.

Bots Willy and Markus conducted externally real deals, but they didn't "own" bitcoins. Nevertheless, they influenced the price of the crypto currency, stimulating the growth of trading volume on other exchanges.

Even in case of detection and cancellation of fraudulent transactions, the average trading volume on the exchanges increased. Therefore, in days of increased activity of bots, the rate of bitcoin to the dollar increased by an average of 4%. At all other times he, on the contrary, showed a slight decrease.

Since the MtGox exchange charged commission from each transaction, the increase in the volume of trading was also profitable for it. In addition, the researchers indirectly link the Willy bot with the attempts of the owner of MtGox Mark Karpeles to hide the losses from the theft of 650,000 bitcoins.

Willy was first seen in September 2013 and operated until the end of January 2014, buying about 100 BTC per hour at intervals of 5-10 minutes. A month earlier, the bitcoin price reached its first loud maximum. 

US Authorities to Sell $4.3M Worth Seized BTC

As reported, the Bitcoins were seized during different federal investigations
18 October 2018   114

The US Federal Penitentiary and Marshals Service has announced an auction, during which 660 Bitcoins will be sold, previously confiscated by law enforcement agencies. The current market value of the coins put up for sale is about $ 4.3 million, CoinDesk reports.

Bitcoins offered for sale were seized during federal criminal, civil and administrative investigations.

The auction will be held on November 5, and to participate in it, you must register no later than October 31 and make a deposit of $ 200,000.

The trades will be divided into two parts and include the sale of six blocks of 100 BTC and one more block of 60 BTC. Auction participants will not be able to view other people's rates or change their own.

The Office clarified that part of the assets put up for auction includes Bitcoins, which were seized during the recent investigations into the cases of the traders Teresa Tetley and Thomas Mario Costanzo. Teresa Tetley was sentenced in July to a year in prison on charges of trading in cryptocurrency without the necessary license and laundering money obtained from drug trafficking.

The Marshals do not report which part of the bitcoins seized from Tetley and Costanzo is put up for auction, however, it was previously known that 40 BTC were withdrawn from the first, and 80 BTC from the second.

Two previous major auctions for the sale of confiscated bitcoins were held in the United States in January and March of this year. In the first case, 3813 BTC was sold, in the second - 2170 BTC.