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By Bruce Sussman
Thu | Jun 14, 2018 | 10:03 AM PDT

University of Texas researchers published a study this week that sheds light on how Bitcoin's 2017 value rose faster than tech stocks during a bubble.

Futurism has an interesting write-up, which puts the whole thing into perspective:

"Bitcoin started 2017 with a value of just $900. By December, it had jumped to nearly $20,000. To the casual observer, it appeared the world was finally buying into the promise of cryptocurrencies."

Instead, what was really happening, according to University of Texas finance professor John M. Griffin and graduate student Amin Shams, was currency manipulation.

The researchers found that purchases of a cryptocurrency called Tether artificially inflated Bitcoin's price.

"Less than 1% of hours with such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies," says the report.

Read the Bitcoin price rise study for yourself, if you have more interest.

One thing is for sure: When it comes to cryptocurrency, it is still the "wild, wild west" where anything could happen. You might find gold and strike it rich—or you might have your stagecoach robbed and be left with nothing.