What is the Willy Bitcoin Trading bot?

When the infamous Mt. Gox exchange was on the verge of collapsing, there was a lot of discussion regarding the so-called Willy trading bot. Although there have been many trading bots ever since, now would be a good time to look wat why the Willy Bot made such an impact on this particular exchange before it went bankrupt.

Trading Bot Pushes Bitcoin Price Higher and Higher

It has to be said, the years 2013 and 2014 were – for some part – quite enjoyable for bitcoin holders. After the price per BTC started to skyrocket, a lot of people suddenly took notice of this cryptocurrency. Mt. Gox was the center of trading activity, as it was one of the very few exchanges dealing with bitcoin at that time. Unfortunately, this price trend could not be sustained, eventually leading to the Mt. Gox collapse, customer funds being stolen, and the bitcoin price crashing to a low triple-digit value once again.

While most people have been focused on Mark Karpeles since Mt. Gox disappeared,  it is important to remember why the bitcoin price was skyrocketing to begin with. As it turns out, bitcoin security firm WizSec successfully found the culprit behind this massive bitcoin price pump. The culprit goes by the name of Willy, and it is a bitcoin trading bot that only made an appearance on the Mt. Gox exchange. Willy first started its trading spree in September of 2013, eventually leading to the bitcoin price bubble and crash months after.

It is not hard to see how the Willy trading bot affected the Mt. Gox exchange and all of its users. To be more specific, the Willy bot is responsible for buying large amounts of bitcoin on the exchange over a six-week span. Given the low bitcoin price at that time, it appears the bot had access to enough funds to purchase about 250,000 bitcoin. Up until that point, there had never been such a high demand for bitcoin, which sent the price rocketing to its all-time high with relative ease.

In fact, on some trading ways, Willy accounted for 30-50% of Mt Gox’s entire trading volume. That is a significant amount, to say the least, indicating someone was carefully manipulating the bitcoin price in the process. No one will be surprised to learn there was some manual intervention by the person responsible for using the trading bot on the Mt. Gox exchange. Most people still believe Mark Karpeles is the person responsible for manually driving up the bitcoin price, although it is doubtful we’ll ever know the truth.

To this very day, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the infamous Willy bot. No one knows for sure who developed or used it, which is of particular concern given the current fiat currency issues affecting so many bitcoin exchanges. While it is doubtful anyone is using a similar trading bot to carefully drive up the price across multiple exchanges, the current bitcoin price trend shows some correlations with how things unfolded at Mt. Gox. We can only hope Bitfinex and other platforms are not being manipulated in the same manner, although there is no real reason to think that is the case right now.

It is also worth mentioning WizSec released an official Willy Report back in  May of 2014. Although the security firm was unable to provide answers to every question may have, they did a good job at creating a timeline of operations. Trading boats pose somewhat of a risk to bitcoin price stability, although it appears most creations have become a lot smarter over the past few years.

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