More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...-masking-capital-flight-from-crypto-exchangesLost among the current bout of cryptocurrency euphoria is the fact that capital outflows are exceeding inflows on some of the biggest digital-asset exchanges.
While that may sound counter intuitive to the basic laws of supply and demand with prices of Bitcoin and other tokens surging, it’s not that rare an occurrence in a market that has been dogged by allegations of fraud and manipulation over its decade long existence. TokenAnalyst, a London-based provider of blockchain data, estimates that withdrawals from trading platforms including Bitfinex, BitMEX, Binance and Kraken have exceeded inflows by about $622 million over the past 5 days.
Bitcoin’s more than 30% price rise since last week may have been exaggerated by capital flight from the controversial exchange Bitfinex and its affiliated stablecoin Tether in the wake of allegations that the companies that control both co-mingled client and corporate funds to hide losses. As in past periods of turmoil, investors are seen seeking the safety of Bitcoin because it’s the largest and most liquid token.
“Since Tether is insufficiently backed, it means that some of the reserves backing customer assets on exchanges are likely insufficient,” John Griffin, a finance professor at University of Texas at Austin who had examined cryptocurrency market manipulation, said in an email. “So smart customers will not custody their funds on exchanges and pull their crypto off exchanges. This could put further upward pressure on Bitcoin prices as one would rather take fake money and exchange it to Bitcoin.”