The strange case of the May 2019 Bitcoin SV pump

on May 30, 2019

It was just over 9 AM on a sunny morning, May 21 2019, when in just over one hour the price of Bitcoin SV (BSV) pumped over 125% going from U$ 60’s to about U$ 140.

The mainstream media covered it something like this:

Craig S. Wright had obtained copyright recognition for Bitcoin and Bitcoin source code. The cryptocurrency world was once again rattled by rumours of a new flippening.

The news hit Bitcoin SV like a bolt of lightning and prices soared like few pumps we’d seen before.

That’s the end of the Bitcoin SV pump story or…is there more to it?

A Reddit user commented on a recent post that Calvin Ayre somehow controlled the price of Bitcoin SV.

So I decided to take a second look at the Bitcoin SV pump.

The U$ volume when the pump was over was at U$ 360 million. So if this were one entity, they’d have to have injected something in the U$ 200 million range in an hour. Note that the avg volume for BSV was in the U$ 130 million region on the days before.

Someone with U$ 200 million firepower would have sat behind a terminal and pumped SV to over twice its previous price. Also note that the volume was mostly USDT and not USD. I posted about Bitcoin fake USD volume earlier this week and to me BSV volume displays the same pattern though I did not check the data in this case.

So who could’ve pumped BSV like that. Following the Reddit comment’s trail, I checked Calvin Ayre’s Twitter feed for clues.

A little Twitter digging brings up Ayre’s very first tweet after CSW was granted the Bitcoin copyright.

(Note that Coingeek called him “Bitcoin creator Craig S. Wright (Satoshi Nakamoto)”.) Couple hours later he celebrated the 100+% pump!

Let’s try to cross-reference tweets with BSV volume data on the days preceding the large pump. First, let’s check if there was any change in BSV volume in the days immediately before May 21.

We saw increased BSV activity with larger volume than the preceding 50 to 60 days.

Interestingly, starting at about 9 AM on 4 different days, from May 8 to May 16, there was increased activity in BSV. The last noticeable spike started near the region of the green arrow. Then after that we had about 2 hours of relative radio silence before hour H.

Note that it happened at 9 AM on May 21st as well (!) – BSV price went from 60something to 130something!

(Note: That’s around 9 AM -3 GMT, so around noon GMT)

It seems like a big coincidence that precisely at 9 AM high activity areas seemed to repeat themselves over several days before May 21st and then the big pump happened on 9AM again.

The higher volume days were May 8, 11, 13, 15, 18 and finally the May 21 pump. Let’s see if we find anything interesting in Ayre’s Twitter.

First of all, we can see that his tweet activity increased starting May 8.

Socialblade.com shows 300% change in number of tweets from the day before and way more than previous days. The number of tweets spiked on May 21st. His highest tweet count in months!

Interestingly, the “volume radio silence” we saw in trading before the big pump also happened in tweets. On Mayt 18th for instance he did not tweet a single time, then 5 and 4 tweets on the next 2 days respectively. Then kaboom.

So Calvin Ayre’s Twitter feed does display behavioral changes leading up to the big pump.

Whether he’s THE guy behind this pump, or somehow led the pack, is beyond my capacity to prove. But if he were the entity behind this, the behavior we see above is exactly what we’d expect.

PS. Interestingly, the Yahoo! Finance news about Bitcoin SV pump has a 10:30 AM -3GMT timestamp! This was 1.5 hours after the pump began. Real quick reporting by Yahoo! so congrats for that….or did someone with strong media contacts lend a helping hand there?

References

CoinMarketCap BSV charts source