Did SBF really use FTX traders’ Bitcoin to keep BTC price under $20K?

Bitcoin (BTC) failed to hit $100,000 during the 2021 bull market because defunct exchange FTX kept selling BTC, analysis claims.

In an X post on Oct. 12, Joe Burnett, senior product marketing manager at Bitcoin financial services firm Unchained, joined voices arguing that FTX executives suppressed BTC price strength.

FTX testimony reveals mass BTC selling

As the trial of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, known as SBF, continues, new testimony paints a picture of market manipulation.

This week, Caroline Ellison, former CEO of affiliated firm Alameda Research, reportedly told the court that Bankman-Fried asked her to sell BTC should spot price breach $20,000. This was done using FTX customer funds, which neither had the right to deploy.

AUSA: What are these?
Ellison: Notes from a conversation with Sam. I wrote, keep selling BTC if its over $20K.
AUSA: You wrote, FTX may raise. What does that mean?
Ellison: Raise capital by selling equity, to get more money. To investors like MSB, the Saudi Prince

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) October 11, 2023

Reacting, Burnett suggested that due to the scale of the operations involved, the entire Bitcoin bull run could have been adversely affected.

“Alameda was insolvent even during the bull market. It appears they used (or ‘borrowed’) FTX customer bitcoin and other customer assets to buy ‘Sam coins’ (FTT, Solana, and Serum),” he wrote, referring to reports that Ellison’s firm had a negative value of $2.7 billion in 2021.

“Without this fake sell pressure, maybe bitcoin would have hit $100,000 in 2021.”

SBF versu S2F

In the event, BTC/USD still reached an all-time high of $69,000 in November that year, but at the time, predictions called for much larger numbers.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried blamed Binance for balance sheet leak to media: Court evidence

Among those was the then-popular Stock-to-Flow (S2F) Bitcoin price model, the creator of which, the anonymous entity known as PlanB, gave a BTC price target of up to $288,000 during the current halving cycle.

The “worst case scenario,” he continued, was $135,000 by December 2021.

Bitcoin is below $34K, triggered by…



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