Multi-Million Dollar Bitcoin Transfer to Suspected BitMEX Wallet Raises Manipulation Concerns

Controversy has begun on Twitter as approximately 18,000 Bitcoins (BTC) were recently transferred to a wallet suspected to be tied to popular cryptocurrency derivatives platform BitMEX. The large transfer, currently totaling $114 million in value, is leading some to think BitMEX might be involved in a suspected market manipulation scheme, CryptoGlobe reports.

Starting at 4:50 AM Eastern Time 33 different cryptocurrency wallets began a series of transfers to a wallet believed to be associated with the second-leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume, BitMEX, over the course of about a half hour. While not yet confirmed to belong to BitMEX, the wallet in question features the ‘3BMEX’ prefix in its address associated with every other wallet used on the platform.

Following the transfers, a number of Twitter users began to suspect that BitMEX might be potentially involved in an attempt to manipulate the crashing price of the world’s leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. A few hours following the transfer, Bitcoin’s price quickly rallied back over $6,000. The funds in question have remained static since the transfer.

Suggested Reading: Learn more about Bitcoin in our ‘What is Bitcoin‘ beginner’s guide.

What’s Going on at BitMEX?

Despite suspicions of foul-play, there are a number of other possible explanations for the mysterious series of transfers. Some suspect that an unknown crypto ‘whale’ might be attempting to consolidate funds in preparation for a massive selloff. A similar occurrence took place in March as Mt Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi shook the market after selling $400 million worth of Bitcoin. The next month Kobayashi hit the trading floor yet again to consolidate a 16,000 Bitcoin plus an additional 16,000 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) leading weary crypto investors to believe another giant selloff was on the way.

Another possible explanation is that BitMEX is currently working to consolidate funds to be moved to cold storage wallets in an attempt to safeguard funds from the litany of cyber attacks that have been plaguing the crypto market over the last few months. Cryptoglobe reports that Bithumb did something similar following the $30 million dollar hack of the Korean exchange in June.

Lastly, some suspect that BitMEX is making a move to increase the platform’s liquidity. On July 25th BitMEX recorded recording-breaking trading volumes of 1,00,000 Bitcoin (~$8 billion) in 24 hours.

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