Bitcoin Channel: MtGox Market Looks Rigged

Journalist:
February 21, 2014
The chart pointing out artificial price floors on MtGox via The Bitcoin Channel.

In the Bitcoin Channel’s latest episode of The Bitcoin Report, the possibility of MtGox having a rigged market is heavily discussed. While the episode steers clear of claiming MtGox is insolvent, it definitely insinuates that there is some form of price fixing going on behind the scenes. When looking at the recent charts for BTC/USD trades on MtGox, you can clearly see an artificial floor on the price of bitcoins. This has happened multiple times over the past week or so, and it clearly indicates that someone was trying to prevent the price from dipping below a certain point. That fixed price bottom was eventually broken as the price of bitcoins crashed to new lows on Thursday evening.

Insider Trading Before the MtGox Announcement?

In addition to the allegations of a fake or rigged market from The Bitcoin Report, there was also a post on Reddit that showed the price of MtGox bitcoins collapsing long before the company’s Thursday announcement. MtGox was supposed to give an update on when Bitcoin withdrawals would be resumed on Thursday, but they were only able to say that they’re moving their offices to avoid security concerns related to the recent protests that popped up outside their offices. Much like they originally blamed the Bitcoin protocol for their problems and delays, they are now blaming a handful of protesters who have been camping outside their offices. Perhaps it is time for MtGox to look in their mirror when it comes to finding someone to blame.

This chart from the Reddit thread shows the price crash on MtGox started long before the official announcement.

A Multi-Plaintiff Lawsuit

Although some are claiming that this kind of action is a bit premature, users of the bitcointalk forum are already putting together a multi-plaintiff lawsuit against MtGox. The creator of the thread claims his legal advisor told him to switch over to dollars because claiming bitcoins during some sort of bankruptcy proceeding could turn out to be difficult. There are a variety of reasons as to why the MtGox price has been crashing, and the theory that dollars are more likely to be returned than bitcoins has been floated on more than one occasion. It’s also important to remember that it wouldn’t make sense to deposit dollars to MtGox right now due to all of the uncertainty around the solvency of the company. The lack of dollars chasing bitcoins could be pushing the price even lower.

Kyle Torpey @kyletorpey

Kyle is a freelance Bitcoin writer and the Marketing Director for Bitcloud. His work has been featured on Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, Let's Talk Bitcoin, and RT's Keiser Report . You can follow him on Twitter (@kyletorpey) or send him an email.