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Author Topic: ICBIT  (Read 1367 times)
akwfleaspirit (OP)
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July 12, 2013, 01:35:15 AM
Last edit: September 15, 2013, 10:15:40 PM by akwfleaspirit
 #1

There is no legitimate exchange that allows the practices that are promoted at icbit. These scammers are pretending these are common financial practices on financial exchanges. They are not.

I posted a https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=246845 lengthy complaint about crooked practices at icbit in the service section. This post is just a quick summary.

Please do not invest at icbit until you have read and understand what is going on there.

The proprietor of icbit, Fireball, made a statement after my complaint saying he wanted to run an honest exchange https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=164255.msg2690056#msg2690056 . I offered to overlook his dishonesty if he refunded half of what was scammed, and reformed his practices. He has done neither so I will summarize some of the issues here on the scam section.

ICBIT trades against its clients.

Employees of the exchange who have access to the financial details of their clients use that information to place targeted trades against those clients. This has happened often enough, and volume is thin enough that there is no question that they are doing this. See the screenshots in the linked posts.

The first time I was squeezed, close to a margin call, it was very clear that another trader knew my exact position and the balances in my account as they put trades, down to the fraction of a dollar, that would force me to either deposit money or sell very cheap or face margin calls. That was the first time. It looked to me to be far beyond coincidence, but I deposited more money and went on trading.

The second time, again, it was clear the person laying trades knew my account balances. In other words they were either getting that information from the icbit staff or it was the icbit staff itself that was placing these trades.

The third time as well. It just would be astronomically unlikely, given the small volume, that the few trades placed would coincide so exactly with what was necessary to squeeze my position.

This happened several times, twice resulting in serious margin calls that forced me to sell very expensive contracts at a very cheap price. In each case the prices of contracts were pushed abnormally, sometimes in the opposite direction of spot, with no advantage to the person doing it unless they somehow knew that they would be forcing someone to close and thus they would buy the closed contracts very cheaply.

As was always the case on icbit, when something like that was pointed out people would pop up with http://www.bitcoinistan.com/chat1.jpg unusual explanations.

ICBIT encourages price manipulation and bizarrely defends this practice.

This is covered at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=246845 so I won't repeat it but it is one of the things that distinguishes icbit management as especially crooked.

An exchange is supposed to be a place where any trader can take a long or short position based on their view of the market. With futures a trader should reasonably expect that a member of the website staff or anyone else cannot push the prices in a way that completely ignores the underlying asset.

This is something that could easily be fixed but icbit evidently makes so much money off this manipulation that they do not change it.
A few examples, look at the trades at 11:59 and 23:59 on the following.

http://www.bitcoinistan.com/spot1.jpg

http://www.bitcoinistan.com/unlikely.jpg

http://www.bitcoinistan.com/final.jpg

These manipulations have the same effect of bitcoin itself moving up or down several dollars. So at icbit you are not trading bitcoin futures, you are trading futures based on manipulated prices. There is more about this in the other posts.

ICBIT uses the common scam practice of using technical jargon to baffle skeptical people.

If you go over the icbit chat there are three words you see over and over again. Arbitrage, backwardation and contango.

These three words are all real words. They are known to a lot of people, especially arbitrage.
On icbit the words are used to confuse people and the people using the words often use the words improperly.

Likewise the associates of the website, several of whom appear to be the same person, also use these words improperly. They are pretending to be professional traders in order to scam people.



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