John Griffin and Amin Shams, in their research article, 'Is Bitcoin really Un-Tethered?' aim to investigate the relation between Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and Tether, a cryptocurrency purportedly clinched to the USA dollar that carries more transaction volume than dollars.
"Tether issuances can not be used to prop up the price of Bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex", Jan Ludovicus van der Velde, Bitfinex's chief executive, said in a statement. The price of bitcoin fell as much as 5 per cent after the report was published, approaching its lowest point of the year.
According to Griffin, Tether coins are created in large quantities, such as 100m.
Bitfinex CEO J.L. van der Velde toldCNBC that neither the exchange nor tether helped to boost bitcoin prices.
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Using algorithms to analyze the blockchain data, we find that purchases with Tether are timed following market downturns and result in sizable increases in Bitcoin prices.
Tether appears to have stopped issuing new tethers as of recent times, possibly in fears of stricter regulation, or lack of legitimate deposits into the company's reserves that may prompt more printing; regardless of being due to the lack of new printed tokens or simply due to lack of demand leaving Tether's company in need of new deposits, Bitcoin's price drop past $6,500 has proved the researcher's hypotheses. He cautioned that a full understanding of the patterns would require more analysis.
Other large virtual currencies that can be purchased with Tether, such as Ether and Zcash, rose even more quickly than bitcoin in those periods. Griffin has previously written research identifying fraudulent patterns in other financial markets.
Beyond his work at the University of Texas, Mr Griffin has a consulting firm that works on financial fraud cases, including some in the virtual currency industry. He is most notably recognized for a 2016 paper that found manipulation in a financial contract known as VIX which was tied to flux in financial markets which were later confirmed by a whistleblower. "The buying of Bitcoin with Tether also occurs more aggressively right below salient round-number price thresholds where the price support might be most effective".
"There were obviously tremendous price increases a year ago, and this paper indicates that manipulation played a large part in those price increases".
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