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   1934

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

Bitcoin May Pass Gold Market Cap, - Novogratz

Mike Novogratz continues to be Bitcoin and cryptocurrency optimist 
25 March 2019   106

The founder of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz, expressed the opinion that over the next 20 years, Bitcoin’s capitalization would “easily” surpass the gold market, currently estimated at $ 7.5 trillion. It is reported by The Daily HODL.

In a conversation with the founder of Morgan Creek Digital, Anthony Pompiano, Novogratz stressed that the inflow of institutional money to the cryptocurrency market is only a matter of time, and major players like Goldman Sachs and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) are already mastering a new industry.

I know Goldman for instance is gearing up around securities tokens. They’re not doing anything yet, but they’re getting really ready and looking at all the questions on – where would you store them? Do you have to build your own custody, or can you use someone else’s custody? How to get them to work.

Mike Novogratz

Founder, Galaxy Digital

According to him, the growth potential of Bitcoin is strong and therefore it is advisable for investors to include the first cryptocurrency in their portfolios:

I think the macro case for [Bitcoin] is pretty strong. And so, if you can put a couple percent of your portfolio in, there’s a decent chance it catches wind. Fidelity is just getting set up. Bakkt continues to get delayed a little bit, but it’s not going to be delayed forever. They’re going to be in the game. And there’s lots of other players coming.

Mike Novogratz

Founder, Galaxy Digital

According to him, the volume of the gold market is $ 7.5-8 trillion and in order to outperform this market, the first cryptocurrency needs to grow in price at least 100 times.

Gold’s got an $8 trillion market cap, or a $7.5 trillion market cap. And so, we’re 100x off on that. We’re not going to get there in Bitcoin in the next year or two. But over a 20-year period, could that happen? Easily. Easily. And that’s giving zero optionality to all the other stuff. And so I think it seems like a pretty smart portfolio bet.

Mike Novogratz

Founder, Galaxy Digital

The founder of Galaxy Digital also touched on the topic of bitcoin futures.

The reality is, the CME kicked their butts. And these guys have limited resources on what they’re going to spend their focus, and they decided to spend it elsewhere. Finding leverage in Bitcoin is going to get easier as the architecture in the space gets better. You’re already seeing the lending market around Bitcoin went from 10% to like 3%. So once you can borrow you can short. And so now it’s not so hard to short Bitcoin. It used to be almost impossible to short Bitcoin in 2016… It wasn’t great, but it’s not critical. 

Mike Novogratz

Founder, Galaxy Digital

In February Mike expressed the opinion that, thanks to institutional money, Bitcoin will reach $ 8,000.