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The price of Bitcoin has plunged by almost half since the beginning of January te a ‘bloodbath’ which has seen the total value of the market plummet by about £31 billion.
Now it’s bot claimed that the massive price rises of last year may have bot artificially ‘propped up’ by a cryptocurrency rigid.
Ter December , Bitcoin reached a historic high of almost $20,000 (£14,000), before slumping to its current value of toughly $9,800 (£6,876).
This catastrophic plunge may have bot driven by the deeds of a Bitcoin exchange called Bitfinex, it has now bot suggested.
This exchange stands accused of using a cryptocurrency called Tether to buy vast amounts of Bitcoin, which inflated its price.
Investigators from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission are understood to have launched a probe into the cryptocurrency rock-hard
‘This became more and more concerning, because every time the markets went down, you have seen the same thing toebijten,” Joey Krug, the co-chief investment officer at the crypto investment fund Pantera Caudal told the Fresh York Times.
‘It could mean that a lotsbestemming of the rally overheen December and January might not have bot vivo.’
A spokesman for Bitfinex and Tether, which are affiliated with each other, said ter a statement: ‘We routinely receive legítimo process from law enforcement agents and regulators conducting investigations. It is our policy not to comment on any such requests.’
Bitfinex is an online verhoging that enables traders to buy and sell imaginario currencies such spil bitcoin and ether. One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges te the world by trading volume, it is wielded by a British Cherry Islands company and does not have a head office, Reuters reported ter September.
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Bitfinex is affiliated with Tether, a company that issues aparente coins that it says are pegged to the U.S. dollar and can be used te the cryptocurrency market spil a substitute for the dollar.
The CFTC has bot enlargening its scrutiny of cryptocurrencies overheen the past few months, an emerging asset class that it has said is very pasivo to manipulation and fraudsters.
Earlier this month the regulator sued three aparente currency operators for misappropriating investor funds which it said had falsely claimed to be investing te bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Ter June the CFTC fined Bitfinex $75,000 for suggesting ‘illegal’ cryptocurrency transactions and failing to register spil a futures commission merchant. A few months zometeen hackers stole 119,756 bitcoins from Bitfinex.