Bitcoin experienced a price spike at around 1AM UTC August 22, from the price level $6,450 to reach $6,850, with a slight volume increase of around $4 billion. After an hour the price saw a $200 correction, landing the digital asset at $6,670.
During the price jump, Bitmex, the largest futures trading platform touting margins of 100x, was scheduled for server maintenance, with an expected time to run live again at 1:30 UTC, however with clients complaining about login troubles, the company decided to delay another 5 minutes.
Company released a statement:
“Trading resumption deferred until login is stable…Login has stabilized. We encountered a large DDoS upon restarting web services. We will resume trading at 02:00 UTC.”
At 2AM UTC, the price had already dropped during the DDoS and maintenance, causing many traders having positions being called.
One client posted on the social network Reddit citing:
“The order cancelled dialog popped up, and the price kept rising and I was like oh this is good because I was already open long from 6480. However my stop buy somehow still triggered (originally at 6650) at 7130.”
Bitmex response was:
“It appears as though your buy order was not successfully cancelled.”
This has lead many to think there was some sort of price manipulation involved due to fact the price spike occurred while Bitmex traders were offline and unable to monitor and adjust their short positions.
While there is controversy surround the event, it does seem unlikely that the largest futures trading platform would be subject to such contrivances.