Picasso trading bot manipulates BTC price on major exchanges

Bitcoin analyst has published a report describing Picasso trading bot which he suspects in manipulating Bitcoin prices on Coinbase, GDAX, and Bitfinex exchanges
25 December 2017   1111

On December 24, Bitcoin analyst under the nickname Bitfinex'ed has published a report in his blog on Medium, in which he described a bot named Picasso, who could be manipulating Bitcoin prices on the exchanges. The analyst was monitoring Coinbase, GDAX and Bitfinex since noticing suspicious activity back in May, and was recording GDAX activity along with Bitfinex for the past several months.

Bitfinex'ed states that Picasso could have evolved from Spoofy, a previously identified trade bot. But Picasso is using a different strategy, called "painting the tape", which is an age old tactic by traders to artificially manipulate prices.

Bitcoin analyst has published a video, showing activity from GDAX and Bitfinex from December 7 of 2017. As it can be seen on the video, Coinbase prices for Bitcoin went several thousands of dollars up compared to the rest of the market, and Bitfinex'ed claims that the volume and price volatility is not from organic demand, but from a trading bot that hit an empty orderbook.

The volume on Bitfinex plummets to practically zero when Coinbase went down, indicating this bot is ‘replaying’ or doing arbitrage for transactions from Coinbase, on Bitfinex. Someone buys Bitcoin from Picasso on GDAX, Picasso then buys it back, at a massive discount on Bitfinex. No GDAX volume = No Bitfinex volume.

Bitfinex'ed statement

Moreover, Bitfinex’ed noticed that the activity of Picasso was mostly high when Bitcoin Cash was introduced as the bot drove the price of Bitcoin Cash to 200+% higher than the rest of the market within several minutes, due to the order books being practically empty.

At the moment of press, these are main market parameters of Bitcoin:

  • Average price: $13 867,90
  • Marketcap: $232 457 900 170
  • 24h volume: $10 630 400 000

iPayment to cooperate with Aliant Payment Systems

iPayment, Inc., a payment provider for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), today announced a partnership with Aliant Payment Systems
23 May 2018   73

This new partnership will allow iPayment to facilitate digital currency acceptance for merchants and their channel partners. 

Our goal at Aliant is to be one of the first adopters and facilitators of cryptocurrency in the traditional payments space. Partnering with an established, quality organization like iPayment helps us achieve that goal. We are looking forward to mutually moving into a new territory of block chain and cryptocurrency and providing our shared clients with an alternative form of accepting and processing secure, cost-effective payment transactions.
Eric Brown
Founder, CEO, Aliant Payment Systems, Inc.

Aliant Payment’s Crypto Processing Gateway provides merchants with the possibility  to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Litecoin, in both digital and card-present environments.

The payments landscape is always changing. iPayment is continually pursuing partnerships with organizations that not only anticipate these changes, but develop innovative solutions to address them – and that is exactly what Aliant has done. We’re looking forward to cultivating this partnership and introducing crypto payment acceptance to our channel partners and adding it to our overall product offering.
Denise Tahali
Senior Vice President, Partner Sales, iPayment, Inc. 

From this new product innovation, iPayment is aimed on small business enablement and delivering efficient services and resolves for business developments. Aliant also lets e-commerce and mobile vendors worldwide to adopt different payment forms, and it provides a complete line of credit card machines, ATMs and payment technology. 

With the help of this collaboration, iPayment can now supply Aliant’s Crypto Processing Gateway to partners and merchants who wish to accept these forms of digital payments.