Investigates Archives -
Amazon.com is investigating internal leaks as it fights to root out fake reviews and other seller scams from its website.
WSJ.com: US Business
Have you ever felt that someone is controlling the crypto markets, increasing prices to lure you in and crash it all as soon as you buy? Well, US authorities have apparently heard your whining because they are now reportedly suspicious manipulation is indeed occurring.
Spoofing and Wash Trading
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly launched a criminal investigation to determine if big money traders are manipulating the prices of Bitcoin, Ether and possibly other cryptocurrencies. The illicit trade tactics that the DOJ is looking into include spoofing and wash trading, and federal prosecutors are working in collaboration with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on the investigation, this according to “four people familiar with the matter” cited by Bloomberg.
Spoofing refers to creating false buy orders to attract other traders (usually bots) to get in, with the intention of manipulating the market price in order to make a profit by actually selling. The Dodd-Frank Act defines spoofing as “the illegal practice of bidding or offering with intent to cancel before execution.” Similarly, wash trading is when someone simultaneously sells and buys the same financial instruments to create misleading activity, meant to make it appear as if an asset has more trade volume than it really does.
US authorities are reportedly concerned that cryptocurrency markets are prone to manipulation for a number of reasons including doubts that all trading venues are on the lookout for fraudsters, massive price swings that make it possible to steer valuations and a lack of strong regulations on crypto exchanges.
While many will surely applaud the DOJ for its diligence in protecting crypto investors, skeptics might wonder if US authorities are not doing this also in an effort to further cool the market down by frightening investors. They are not generally known to be welcoming toward the field, and only recently it was revealed that American regulators also took part in a crackdown on what they call “fraudulent ICOs and crypto-asset investment products.”
Are cryptocurrency prices manipulated and is it the US DOJ’s job to investigate these global markets at all? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The Los Angeles Times suspended Beijing Bureau Chief Jonathan Kaiman on Tuesday and has launched an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct.
On Monday, former Beijing-based journalist Felicia Sonmez sent a letter to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China detailing “problematic…
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Red paint was splashed across the sign outside President Donald Trump’s golf club near his Florida estate.
Nike Inc. said that it had received complaints about workplace behavior and that its No. 2 executive has resigned, setting off a management shuffle at the sportswear giant.
WSJ.com: US Business
Vietnamese authorities have announced that they are investigating establishments that accept bitcoin for payments. This follows reports that restaurants and cafes are still accepting the digital currency despite the government warning that bitcoin is not a legal means of payment in Vietnam.
Investigating Bitcoin-Accepting Merchants
Despite the State Bank of Vietnam warning that bitcoin is not a legal means of payment, the digital currency is still being used to pay for goods and services in the country, Vnexpress reported last week.
Citing that several coffee shops and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City are still accepting bitcoin for payments, the publication quoted an official of the central bank saying:
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City will be working with the country’s central bank to ‘handle violations’ at several restaurants and coffee shops in the city that have been accepting bitcoin as payment… We have also asked the city’s police department to work with us.
In October, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Vietnamese central bank announcing that it had completed the legal framework for digital currencies in Vietnam. While bitcoin itself is not banned, using it as a means of payment in the country could result in a fine between 150 million to 200 million dong (~USD8,800). “From January 1, 2018, the act of issuing, supplying or using illegal means of payment may be subject to prosecution in accordance with the provisions of Article 206 of the Penal Code 2015,” according to the bank’s announcement.
Bitcoin Uses Continue
A survey by Infonet found 4 bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) in Vietnam, 24h newspaper reported. All of them are located in Ho Chi Minh City and are also listed on the BTM tracking website Coinatmradar.
One machine is located inside a coffee shop at the corner of Ly Tu Trong – Cach Mang Thang Tam in District 1. The establishment revealed to the publication, “Every day there are dozens of visitors buying bitcoin through the machine located in the store.” Both the number of customers using the BTM and the number paying with bitcoin at the store are growing, the publication noted, adding that:
At some cafes in the center of District 1, despite the [sign saying] “Bitcoin Payments Are Not Accepted,” they are in demand from customers (Vietnamese and foreigners), [and] the staff is still handling [it].
Growing Number of Market Participants and Miners
According to Bitcoin Vietnam’s Nguyen Viet Bach, the number of bitcoin market participants in the country has increased from 30,000 in 2016 to 60,000 this year, Soha reported.
In addition, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Bureau has received applications to import 1,478 mining rigs during the 10 months ending in October. “Even a high-end jewelry company located in Ho Chi Minh City has filed the import declaration for 100 Bitmain mining rigs from China with an estimated total value of $ 129,000,” the publication wrote.
Do you think the government will be able to stop people from paying with bitcoin at stores? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Vietnamnet.
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China’s banking regulator is conducting a sweeping check in one of the most forceful attempts yet to get a grip on runaway debt.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
A year-long investigation done in partnership with CNN en Espanol found Venezuelan passports and visas were allegedly sold through the Venezuelan embassy in Iraq. Warnings about fraudulent Venezuelan passports have been raised for years. CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World