Crypto exchange WEX (former BTC-e) has seen some unusual trading activity today, with Bitcoin being traded for as much as $9000. There have been allegations of an exit scam.
The abnormally high price of Bitcoin on the exchange rang alarm bells on crypto Twitter. Many observers suspected that some scam activity might be involved, with the large sums paid out for BTC not intended to be honoured for long.
Comparisons were made with the Mt.Gox scam, where crypto prices were manipulated in order to encourage arbitrage.
Game theory 101: if it’s too good to be true and obvious to all players, beware.— CryptoRaven (@coinraven) July 11, 2018
Others believed that this was perhaps a more simple pumping scheme, or simply a result of the declining popularity of the WEX exchange. WEX is a relaunched version of BTC-e, which was previously shut down due to some suspicious activity.
pumped up? ...— ϻ 🔺 𝔤 𝔲 𝔯 𝔞 ♻ ᙇ (@_mad_MagUra) July 11, 2018
Meh, their USD just has poor transferability. USD/USDT prices fluctuated right in line with the BTC/USD move. Suspect someone with a lot of wex USD just decided to push it into bitcoin, and they didn't mind a 10-30% premium over spot rates.— Ross (@phzix) July 11, 2018
This latter explanation seems the most likely one, considering the price of Tether on the exchange. The US Dollar-backed 'stablecoin', intended as a one-for-one digital tokenization of USD, is currently trading at a lot more than that.
Tether trading at $1.30 USDT/USD on Wex - a snapshot in history pic.twitter.com/C5nSK9i3kd— CointraderGuy (@CointraderGuy) July 11, 2018
& people are paying premium / taking a loss to get their money off of the exchange, which is pushing the prices even higher— Chowrie Ree (@chowrie_ree) July 11, 2018
At the time of writing, BTC is trading for $8191 on WEX. Coinmarketcap has its real price at $6418.