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“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”

— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

In July 2019, John M. Griffin and Amin Shams, academics from the University of Texas and the University of Ohio, respectively, published the cleverly titled report “Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?”

Their “findings” echoed through mainstream and cryptocurrency media alike. The duo boldly claimed that bitcoin’s 2017 price rise was fueled by unbacked USDT; in essence, their argument goes, Bitfinex/Tether issued the stablecoin without having any dollars in the bank to back them up, meaning bitcoin’s price rose on little more than hot air. 

Now, Griffin and Shams are doubling down on these claims. In an updated report[1], they argue that, using tether as its tool, a single entity alone was responsible for the 2017 bull run. 

“By mapping the blockchains of Bitcoin and Tether, we are able to establish that one large player on Bitfinex uses Tether to purchase large amounts of Bitcoin when prices are falling and following the printing of Tether,” the study reads.

As could be expected, as mainstream media outlets jumped on the findings, many voices inside the Bitcoin sphere have decried the report as insular and its methodology as flawed.

Behold the White Whale

Plenty of market analysts, journalists[2] and other commentators[3] have had more than a year to chew over the academics’ prior findings.

Further Reading: Clearing Up Misconceptions: This Is How Tether Should (And Does) Work[4]and Study Argues Tether Wasn’t Used to Prop Up Bitcoin’s Price[5]

Alex Krüger, an independent economist and trader, addressed these claims in a concise Medium post[6]

“Some of the paper’s claims seem unwarranted,” he argued in his analysis, drawing the conclusion that the paper — which was

Read more from our friends at Bitcoin Magazine