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Bitcoin price spike in 2017 was artificially manipulated

A cryptocurrency mining facility in Russia. Photo: Maxim Zmeyev/AFP via Getty Images

At least half of last year's price boom for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was prompted by price manipulation, according to a new University of Texas study reported by the New York Times.

Why it matters: The paper — authored by John Griffin, "an academic with a history of spotting fraud in financial markets," and graduate student Amin Shams — raises questions about whether 2017's spiking prices truly reflected investor demand for cryptocurrencies.

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