One Person Caused Bitcoin To Spike Over 600%, Claim Researchers

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In 2013, bitcoin was worth just $150 when suddenly, the price spiked. Within two months, one bitcoin was worth $1,000. Four researchers from the Tandy School of Computer Science at The University of Tulsa and the Berglas School of Economics at Tel Aviv University in Israel now believe that this spike was caused by one individual person. Their research wants to put light to the fact that the Bitcoin market is easily manipulated by bad actors. According to them, if bitcoin wants to be taken seriously it probably shouldn’t be this easy or legal to manipulate the markets.

Researchers examined Mt. Gox transactions over a ten-month period from February to November 2013, and found that approximately 600,000 bitcoins, valued at $188 million, were “acquired by agents who likely did not pay for the bitcoins.” The team found that a single account named “Markus,” which was missing location data, seemingly never paid transaction fees and paid random prices for the bitcoins. The Markus account bought a total of 335,898 bitcoins, worth $76 million, over the course of 225 days.

Seven hours after Markus became inactive, Willy appeared as a group of 49 accounts. Each of these Willy accounts would sequentially purchase $2.5 million worth of bitcoin and then become inactive.

In other words, what “Marku” did is create an economic bubble, artificially inflating the cost of a certain commodity and turning a huge profit by selling it. Eventually, the prices soar too high for anyone to want to buy.

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