Arkham Intelligence Alerts Not to Blame for Bitcoin Crash

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  • Arkham Intelligence has said that its alert system did not malfunction and cause yesterday’s Bitcoin price drop
  • A tweet referencing a huge government and MtGox bitcoin move seemingly caused Bitcoin to drop $3,000
  • However, the alert and tweet were sent out after the price dropped, and Arkham says the alerts were accurate

Arkham Intelligence has denied that its Bitcoin alert system was to blame for a near $3,000 flash crash in its price last night. Bitcoin fell from $30,000 to $27,000 within one hour as reports spread around Twitter that Arkham’s wallet scanning software had picked up movements of large amounts of bitcoin associated with the U.S. government and MtGox. The Bitcoin selloff occurred after a well-known Twitter user, DB (@tier10k), tweeted out the information, seemingly leading to people mass selling in panic. However, Arkham has denied that its alert and DB’s subsequent tweet were the reasons for the drop, saying that the alert was triggered after the drop.

MtGox and Government Bitcoin Rumors Spread

Bitcoin was hovering at $30,000 after yesterday’s bumper move when at 19:15 UTC it suddenly sharply fell to $27,250 in the space of 45 minutes. Those checking in to see what the cause of the collapse was were met with rumors of a big move of bitcoin from wallets associated with MtGox and the U.S. government, which is known to be selling large amounts of bitcoin:

Arkham Alerts was the source given by DB, but it didn’t take long for people to question the accuracy of the alert, saying that the claims weren’t backed up by on-chain evidence. Indeed, an hour or so later Arkham tweeted that during the day it had “fixed a bug related to Bitcoin alerts that caused us to no longer under-send alerts to a small subset of user’s private labels”, with DB being one of them. It urged users to “double check and verify on-chain prior to making moves on the information”, which, of course, was what prompted people to think it was inaccurate in the first place.

Arkham Says Alerts Were Correctly Sent

Later in the evening, as Bitcoin’s price was recovering, Arkham shifted the blame to DB, saying that the user had received alerts as they had been configured and that the Bitcoin price move happened before the tweet went out:

In response, DB noted that they would “use multiple on-chain providers going forward” rather than relying on alerts, with the incident, which will have liquidated many leverage traders unfairly, reinforcing the perils of trying to be first with breaking news.

Bitcoin’s price has since recovered to $29,000, and the cause of the crash is still not clear. In the hours prior, trading firm Jump Capital moved $26.6M worth of bitcoin to various exchange deposit addresses, although it would have been unlikely that they market sold.