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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

US Department of Justice, CFTC Investigating Bitcoin Market Manipulation
The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin markets. BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro tells us that the investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

Revolut Users Make 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin And Ethereum Exchanges Every Day
Forbes reports, “London-based fintech startup Revolut — which is today adding Bitcoin Cash and Ripple XRP to its cryptocurrency trading app — has revealed its users make around 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum exchanges everyday.”

Coinbase To Add Crypto Staking Feature in the Future
San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big-name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.

American Express Announces a Blockchain Application To Its Membership Rewards Program
American Express is integrating blockchain technology developed by Hyperledger, an open source blockchain project, that will let merchants create customized offers for cardholders.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets. The investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the investigation is only in its early stages, and is focused on both bitcoin and ethereum, as well as various altcoins.

The investigation is aimed at manipulation techniques including ‘spoofing’ and ‘wash-trading’. Spoofing is a practice where traders place fake large volume orders on exchanges in an attempt to lure inexperienced investors into buying or selling, only to remove the order before it ever completes. Wash-trading involves a trader, or even a group of traders, trading back and forth with themselves to create an illusion of more market activity than what actually exists.

These behaviors allow ‘market makers’ to push the price of an asset in their desired direction, often resulting in substantial profit. Such market manipulation is illegal in traditional markets, and the activities put a spotlight on why regulation is so necessary for the budding cryptocurrency market that’s full of inexperienced traders.

Cryptocurrency, given its semi-anonymous design, its unregulated global market, and the overall lack of anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer enforcement at exchanges around the globe, makes it a market rife with manipulation and other fraudulent activity.

Financial regulators from key countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Europe, and the US have been actively increasing efforts to establish guidelines for exchanges, but due to the complexity of the new asset class, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, officials at top exchanges such as Gemini’s Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, believe that exchanges should band together to self-regulate.

Bitcoin’s price dropped to a May low of $7300 as a result of the news.

In a bid to raise awareness of potential investment scams in the cryptocurrency space, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy have launched a fake website posing as a luxury travel firm kicking off the pre-sale portion of their initial coin offering (ICO).

The website HoweyCoins.com, is a tongue-in-cheek play on everything your run-of-the-mill bogus ICO offers. From ‘too-good-to-be-true’ promises, to flashy images of champagne bottles and palm trees, to convoluted and often-plagiarized whitepapers, to pre-sale bonus countdown clocks, the SEC’s spoof site has got all of the common enticements found on fraudulent sites.

In a press release titled “The SEC Has an Opportunity you Wont Want to Miss: Act Now!” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton explained the motivation behind HoweyCoins:

“The rapid growth of the ‘ICO’ market, and its widespread promotion as a new investment opportunity, has provided fertile ground for bad actors to take advantage of our Main Street investors,” with Clayton adding:

“We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud. Distributed ledger technology can add efficiency to the capital raising process, but promoters and issuers need to make sure they follow the securities laws. I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions.”

Anyone who clicks on the “Buy Coins Now!” Button will be redirected to educational materials from the SEC warning users of potentials scams and what red flags to look out for. Some of the red flags outlined include celebrity endorsements, claims of guaranteed returns, claims of SEC-compliance, and more.

Even the site name HoweyCoins is an Easter egg referencing the “Howey test” – a test created by the Supreme Court stemming from the SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. case in 1946, aimed at determining whether a financial transaction qualifies as an “investment contract.”

Who knew the SEC was this funny? Still, fraudulent investments are no laughing matter, and the SEC has done a solid job at raising awareness of the potential pitfalls of cryptocurrency investing, all while serving as an entertaining break from the daily grind.

For educational information on how investors can protect themselves, visit investor.gov or use the Buy Coins Now button on HoweyCoins.com.

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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

“See No Bank, Hear No Bank, Speak No Bank”: German Bank Allows Users To Transfer Loans Anywhere In The World Using Bitcoin
According to Reuters, German Radoslav Albrecht founded an online bank that allows clients to transfer loans anywhere in the world using Bitcoin. ZeroHedge reports, “Albrecht’s Bitbond uses Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to completely bypass the Swift international transfer system which has a monopoly and ultimate veto power on who is in – and isn’t – in the global petrodollar club, to lend money across the globe rapidly and at low cost.”

Winklevoss-Owned Gemini Exchange Becomes First Licensed Exchange to Offer ZCash
Anthony Severino of BlockExplorer reports that Gemini, the New York-based cryptocurrency exchange owned by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, will become the “world’s first licensed ZCash exchange”.

Australia To Ban Cash For All Purchases Over $10,000
Australia’s Liberal Party government announced it will be illegal to purchase anything over $10,000 with cash starting July of 2019. The Australian government goes on to say it’s “encouraging the transition to a digital society” and cracking down on tax evasion.

LG CNS Launches its own Blockchain Platform, Monachain
Monachain provides digital authentication, community token, and supply chain management. ZDNet reports, “The service is aimed at enterprise clients and can be applied in finance, public, telco and manufacturing industries, the company said. The platform offers digital authentication, community token, and supply chain management.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

coin renders

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Electrum Pro Site Shuts Down, Citing ‘False Accusations’ As Cause
Following the proof released and verified on may 9th, the site hosting the malware Electrum Pro seems to have been voluntarily shut down. A message on the site states Electrum Pro’s reputation has been ruined due to false accusations from electrum.org. The message further states that the domain is up for sale for 25BTC, and provides a contact email. (BlockExplorer verified that the proof was genuine and Electrum Pro is lying.)

Bitcoin Wallet Mycelium Begins Rolling Out BCH Support
BlockExplorer’s David Murray reports on the popular bitcoin wallet Mycelium rolling out support for bitcoin cash.

More Bitcoin Moved From Mt. Gox Wallet, Possible Sell-Off Affects Bitcoin Price
The Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee is suspected to have dumped another 8,000 bitcoin on the cryptocurrency market. CCN reports, “Today, on May 11, various reports have suggested that the recent price dip of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was triggered by the sell-off of Mt. Gox coins.”

South Korean’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Raided
CoinDesk Korea reports that on May 10 and 11 investigators from Seoul’s prosecutors’ office searched the head office of popular cryptocurrency exchange Upbit. “UPbit is suspected of fraud for allegedly selling cryptocurrency to customers that it does not actually hold”, according to the report.

Venture Capitalist Tim Draper: “Bitcoin Is The Most Secure Place To Put Your Money”
Tim Draper joined CNBC’s Closing Bell to discuss bitcoin. Draper was bullish on bitcoin stating, “It is a far better currency than the fiat currency. I mean, right now, your banks are being attacked all the time. The hackers are poking holes in your banks and going after your fiat money. And… the bankers are pounding away, trying to keep the hacks away but they’re getting hacked all of the time. No one has ever hacked the bitcoin blockchain. It is the most secure place to put your money.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/