Market Manipulation of Bitcoin: Evidence from Mining the Mt. Gox Transaction Network

Weili Chen, Jun Wu, Zibin Zheng, Chuan Chen, Yuren Zhou

The cryptocurrency market is a very huge market without effective supervision. It is of great importance for investors and regulators to recognize whether there are market manipulation and its manipulation patterns. This paper proposes an approach to mine the transaction networks of exchanges for answering this question.By taking the leaked transaction history of Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange as a sample,we first divide the accounts into three categories according to its characteristic and then construct the transaction history into three graphs. Many observations and findings are obtained via analyzing the constructed graphs. To evaluate the influence of the accounts' transaction behavior on the Bitcoin exchange price,the graphs are reconstructed into series and reshaped as matrices. By using singular value decomposition (SVD) on the matrices, we identify many base networks which have a great correlation with the price fluctuation. When further analyzing the most important accounts in the base networks, plenty of market manipulation patterns are found. According to these findings, we conclude that there was serious market manipulation in Mt. Gox exchange and the cryptocurrency market must strengthen the supervision.

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