Bitcoin Manipulation or Profit 9/24 and 26th

Anatomy and analysis of BTC’s drop 09–24–2019

Clark Mumaw
8 min readSep 27, 2019


9/24's BTC’s price dropped of $1,100 from 9,462 at 14:39:01 to 8,370 at 15:54:00.

Using the site

My summary analysis is the order book on all of the 10 tracked exchanges suffered a DOS attack. DOS (denial of service) is when so many false packets of data are sent that the real one representing real people can not get through.

D.O.S. is like rush hour there are so many people on the highway you can not easily if at all get home from work.

The data from clearly shows the buy and sell volume sink by 1K while the total trading volume rose by 25–50K. and the crash volumes are not consistent with before and after the event.

DOS attacks are usually short so technical staff can not trace the origins of the attackers. Tracking the IP source of the traffic is possible through co-ordinated efforts. Contrary to what has been published and movies an IP address does not tell you the location and address of the person using the IP address. So tracking does little good besides maybe informing the source they were USED in an attack AND more importantly creating a defensive filter to block those IP addresses in the future and prevent future attacks. Most DOS attacks are co-ordinated efforts from remote computers the hackers control and are hiding behind.

It is hard for DOS attacks to be sustained because of reboots. Either the source computers being used to create the flood of packets OR the host computers being attacked are rebooted. And that causes the service to be returned to normal until the attack can be renewed. In some cases the network router(s) in front of the servers are turned off, ending the attack.

The blockchain network did not suffer any disruption to the mining or production of transactions or blocks!

Their are no news reports of exchanges reporting downtime or disruptions.

Here’s the spike in volume of trade.

Here’s the price drop overlapping the volume spike.

Note how at the bottom of the price drop the volume of trading is cranked up to an all time high? As if the price stopped dropping and they tried to go further by kicking it even harder.

And here’s the 1,000 drop in the order book drying up because there are is too much volume clogging up the traffic.

If you look closely, you can see both the the buy[bid] (green line) AND THE sell[ask] (redline) drop at the same time and by about the same amount. To me, this indicates that the whole order book was effected not just the buy or the sell side. If only one side was effected I might suspect futures market shorting of going long or spoofing with fake orders.

Also it is important to note above, that the buy orders are still larger than the number of sell orders on the order book. If the price drop was a natural event the selling amount would be larger than the buying. Supply greater than demand.

Admittedly I was confused until I realized the data fit the pattern of DOS the one attack I experienced as a network admin.

I wonder if this disruption came through the back end liquid network that exchanges can use to buy from each other. But I have no idea where or how to collect that data.

In summary (for the 10 exchanges included, Binance not included), 1) the over all trade volume spiked abnormally high, 2) the order book volume dropped significantly and 3) the price of BTC dropped $1,100.

If you want you can check theses links to see that the blockchain network was not disturbed.


time between blocks

That was the crash of 9/24,…9/26 is next and was much harder for me to figure out.

Anatomy and analysis of the second hit 8,400 to 7,800 (9/26/2019).

On 9/26 BTC dropped below 7,800 but bounced back above 8,000.

(sorry I got tired of graphics so there’s less pictures and more data in text form on this one.)

This hit was both similar and different from the 9/24 crash. Again small blocks were produced at the time of the event. While volume went about 1/3 as high as last time. Last time the average bid went down on all exchanges. But the bids drop trailed the price drop so it was likely not the cause. An event in the past does not cause an event in the future. However the drop in the ask did lead the price drop on all exchanges making the ask the likely cause in the last event.

However this time, was different and I had to dig deeper. 85% of the volume comes from 5 exchanges. [Coinbase, Kraken, bitstamp, bitfinex, & bit-x]

Everyone else has less than 10% of the total volume.

total volume by exchange

I RECOMMEND IGNORING ALL OF THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS AND SCROL DOWN TO THE SUMMARY. What follows is incredibly boring. Just me documenting the data trail as I attempted to find what makes sense here. Because collecting data is what makes things clear to me. Collecting data is what always worked for me when I was a file and print server network admin pondering mysterious networking events while working at Miami University of Oxford Ohio.

Bitfinex huge jump in volume 5.49 to 34.70

Bitstamp huge jump in volume 5.45 to 28.20

Kraken huge jump in volume 8.16 to 33.00

Bitbay small jump in volume 1.9 to 2.2

Coinbase huge jump in volume 13K to 45K

minus Bitbay leaves 4:

Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, bitfinex

The ask/bid charts of these…

Coinbase looks like a major price influencer the first price crash but not the second. Why? Because the ask volume dropping leads the listed price drop the first time but not the second time. Only leading events can be causal.

Kraken is similar a possible influencer the first time but not the second for the same reason. The ask volume drop lead the listed price drop the first time but not the second time.

Bitstamp same here, likely influencer first time but not second

Bitfinex different, unlikely an influencer the first time but possibly the second.

If bitfinex (the 5th largest by volume) is a possible participant in the second event then maybe other even smaller exchanges need to be check this time.

Itbit play no role the first time but possibly the second time.

Bitmex looks like a minor role the first and a major role the second.

Bitbay unclear the first likely the second

exmo maybe a small role both times

How big of an influence were these on volume?

Total Order book volume increase (T.O.B.V.I.) Bitfinex from 11.2 to 212

T.O.B.V.I. exmo from 9.2 to 46.5

T.O.B.V.I. Bitbay from 3.3 to 10.7

T.O.B.V.I. Bitmex from 11.2 to 212

Opps not significant enough so maybe they hid in the number of trades per minute

*trades per minute Bitstamp 10 to 93

*trades per minute Bitfinex 11 to 202

*trades per minute exmo .5 to 45

trades per minute Bitmex no data

Starred lines above means this is the second piece of data giving possible evidence that these exchanges were involved somehow. Others? 1.8 to 10 (new zealand)

bitcoinde .5 to 4 (EUR)

bitso .1 to 10 (mexico)

Btcmarkets .1 to 5 (AUD) .1 to 10 (usd/eur)

*coinbase 45 to 407

itbit .3 to 10

korbit 1.5 to 20 (krw)

*kraken 11 to 190

therocktrading .3 to 5.9 (eur)

*wallofcoins 16 to 50 (us/cad)

Not much here, volumewise. Even if the bid ask chart does not show obvious participation the volume increase matching the price decline show involvement by these below.












Those with 2 stars are involved but I cannot tell you how. At least now I know whose charts to be looking at more closely. My first thought is that it is likely the orders placed were spread thinly over the 2 stared exchanges but in a way to avoid it showing up on the individual exchange charts. Maybe true but not the smoking gun I’m looking for.

Playing detective,… what do I know!

I know volume increases. I know certain exchanges are targeted. I know the volume causes the order book to not be available to normal queries. I know the price drops during this time. I know this is a complex sophisticated and organized event. The creators are smart. So what would a smart person do?

I suspect and conclude the event is spread across exchanges to hide both source and details. I suspect the volume of order also serves to hide the same. I conclude this is price manipulation. I suspect all exchanges are being used without their knowledge.

huge intuitive leap is made….

One hypothesis is that the volume from other exchanges hides the controlling orders from Kraken. Why? Because Kraken allows margin orders and shorting. Typical banker broker features. Typical money making practices of smart brokers day trading n the stock exchange. AndI’m sure this is the least complex of the complex tricks day traders do to make money. Those orders from Kraken could be the main culprit causing the price drop. Now let’s go look to see of the evidence support the theory. Bad science,.. good detective work.

How does shorting work and is profitable. To do this you need sell orders to overwhelm the buy orders. The people going short then buy back their coins at a lower price AND PROFIT. If this is happening then both the sell orders AND the buy orders will increase in price during an event.

Using coinbase (at 35% of the total volume)as a proxy for the total volume we can see a small increase in both the sell (red) and buy (green) orders as the price (grey) drops.

And here’s the link to the data.

coinbase ask/bid volumes

If this theory is true, then we should also see on Kraken the price dropping (during the shorting) and then an increase in buying (buying back at a lower price). See the green buying skyrocket after the price is done dropping? (hint: the last spike on the right)

Kraken buyback spike (last spike on right)

It is likely Kraken is just being used by professional day traders to line their pockets. There is thing illegal here. But maybe immoral. I have never thought you should be allowed to sell something you do not own and have in your possession. Because it preserves self interest and integrity. But that’s opinion and my own personal grasp of how to run a corruption free world. And I know people will corrupt any and every system unless their hearts are changed first.



Clark Mumaw

ex-computer networking technician, post stroke survivor, metaphysical explorer, philosopher, interested in human psychology and spirituality