Twitter users began noticing a massive transfer of 18,000 bitcoin into a wallet associated with cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX. The value of the coins transferred equates to just under $115 million at the time of writing.
CryptoGlobe reports that the transfer was made from seventeen different crypto wallets, the first transfer taking place at 4:50 AM New York time (8:50 AM UTC). Only 10 BTC were transferred during in the fist transaction, the sixteen other wallet transfers totaled 17,990 BTC less than half an hour after the first transfer.
According to CryptoNewsReview however, it hasn’t yet been confirmed whether the wallet in question belongs to BitMEX, but it has the same 3BMEX prefix to its address as all the other wallets it uses.
Unsurprisingly, the large transfer led Twitter users to speculate that the exchange might be involved in market manipulation, especially considering the transaction took place shortly before bitcoin’s price recovered. However, it seems more likely that the exchange was simply consolidating coins to a cold storage wallet or providing liquidity to for its trading platform, especially considering that the 18,000 BTC in question account for only 0.1% of all bitcoin in circulation.
History has also shown that crypto “whales” tend to consolidate a large amount of coins to a crypto address right before selling them, as the Mt Gox trustee did in March.