Bittrex and Poloniex Try to Get Manipulation Case Thrown Out

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  • Lawyers for Bittrex and Poloniex are seeking to get the manipulation case against them thrown
  • The exchanges argue that plaintiffs, a group of disgruntled traders, cannot positively link a key BitFinex account to the suggested illegal practices
  • Bittrex and Poloniex were dragged into the case last June

Bittrex and Poloniex, two of the exchanges at the heart of a cryptocurrency market manipulation case, have submitted to have the case thrown out. Lawyers for the two exchanges, which a group of disgruntled traders claim were involved in rigging the cryptocurrency market during the 2017 bull run, have filed for a summary judgement to dismiss the claims against them, which are a part of the case against DigiFinex and Tether.

Bittrex and Poloniex Dragged into DigiFinex/Tether Suit

Bittrex and Poloniex are additional defendants in a case being fought between Bitfinex’s parent company DigiFinex, Tether, payment processor Crypto Capital, and a group of disgruntled traders. The latter launched legal proceedings in October 2019, accusing the companies of manipulating the price of Bitcoin during the December 2017 bull run, costing the market, they claim, over $1 trillion.

Initially the plaintiffs claimed that the manipulation was being done direct on the Bitfinex exchange, but in June this year the accusers changed tack, saying that the manipulation was in fact conducted on Bittrex and Poloniex by DigiFinex. This has dragged the two exchanges into the lawsuit, and they haven’t taken long to hit back, with their legal representatives seeking to have the case against them thrown out because “all the claims asserted against them rest on a demonstrably false factual premise.”

Account Owner Had “No Apparent Connection” to BitFinex

Poloniex and Bittrex’s lawyers say that the plaintiffs “cannot prove the central premise of

their claims” because the accounts through which the manipulation was allegedly conducted belonged to “an individual with no apparent connection to Bitfinex, other than as a customer of its exchange…”. This individual’s activity on the exchange does not “yield an inference that he was manipulating the market for Bitfinex” according to the exchange’s attorneys.

If the court accepts the arguments put forward by Bittrex and Poloniex then it will likely spell the end for the plaintiffs’ case as without it there can be no suspicion that manipulating took place. The idea of market manipulation in 2017 through the buying of Bitcoin through the printing of unbacked USDT tokens has been doing the rounds since mid-2018, and this case will go some way towards clearing up the plausibility of this line of thinking.