Professor John Griffin noticed back in 2017 that the price of bitcoin appeared to be backed by one "whale", and now he is seeing similar "red flags", Business Insider writes.
The economics professor at the McComb School of Business at the University of Texas believes something fishy is happening in the market right now. In late 2022, Griffin noticed that bitcoin seemed to recover every time it crossed the $16,000 threshold.
It is noted that following a dismal fall last year, bitcoin soared by more than 40% by the start of the new year.
Griffin saw foul play behind this back in 2017, when he and his colleague Amin Shams noticed that one bitcoin "whale" seemed to be influencing the price of the token and distorting trades.
In 2018, they published a 118-page report detailing evidence of one person manipulating the price of BTC. And today he sees parallels to that situation.
"It's very suspicious. The same mechanism we saw in 2017 could be involved now in the still unrealistic BTC market," he said.
He said a token manipulator would want to set a minimum price for its asset, which seems to be the case now for bitcoin, which is typically characterised by high volatility rather than stability.
"During a period of extremely negative sentiment, we have seen suspiciously stable bitcoin levels," he said.
But due to the sheer size of the crypto market and the volume of data, definitive evidence is elusive.