A single-page blog called “The Willy Report” (removed in the meantime) has recently denounced an alleged plot to manipulate the price of Bitcoin through the use of bots. According to the report, authored by a cryptocurrency trader who claims to have analyzed several trading logs starting from November 2013, a bot named Willy is the one to blame for last year’s wave of volatility.
The blog even blames the bot for the theft of millions of dollars from the now defunct exchange Mt. Gox. “Somewhere in December 2013, a number of traders including myself began noticing suspicious bot behavior on Mt. Gox”, the anonymous author starts by saying.
“Basically, a random number between 10 and 20 Bitcoin would be bought every 5-10 minutes, non-stop, for at least a month on end until the end of January”, he adds. The trader claims these transactions were facilitated from September 27th by the bot using several different accounts. The bot would purchase digital coins in the market, shutting down the account and opening a new one shortly after.
Fox Business reports that, in total, the author claims that $112 million were spent by this bot to buy close to 270,000 BTC, mostly during November 2013. However, the logs show the bot was still working until the end of January along with other both called Markus, which apparently bought and sold BTC around that same time period paying zero trading fees.
“If you were wondering how Bitcoin suddenly appreciated in value by a factor of 10 within the span of one month, well, this may be why. Not Chinese investors, not the Silkroad bust – these events may have contributed, but they may not have been main reason”, the report’s author says.
Then we all know what happened in December. Bitcoin’s price on Mt. Gox (and pretty much everywhere) skyrocketed. A brief ride towards the top until the real problems began. The author of the document does not excluse the chance that this was the work of outside hackers or even suspects close to Mt. Gox.
Still, the price of Bitcoin has been quite stable since the Mt. Gox debacle. After a brief downfall, the price of cryptocurrency has stabilized between the $450 and the $600. At the time of writing, the price was around $580.