Saturday, 23 June, 2018


CFTC Demands Crypto Exchange Data In Market Investigation

CFTC Subpoenas Leading Exchanges for Trading Data Regulation 33 mins ago | By Samuel Haig
Conrad Doyle | 13 June, 2018, 14:14

"Perhaps more impactful is the news that U.S. government investigators have ordered four major cryptocurrency exchanges - including Coinbase and Kraken - to hand over comprehensive information regarding trading in order to aid in its investigation over potential price manipulation", Crypto Experts wrote on Twitter. In particular, the trading data of the Bitcoin exchanges that provide price feed to the CME has been requested. This investigation was started after the launch of Bitcoin Futures by CME group in December 2017. Several exchanges chose not to comply, claiming CME's request was invasive.

The allegations by CME and the lack of proper action by the mentioned exchanges forced the CFTC, which is in charge of bitcoin futures markets into subpoenaing these exchanges. Laurie Bischel, CME spokeswoman said, "All participating exchanges are required to share information, including cooperation with inquiries and investigations". These agreements would detail what information needed to be shared, including traders' identities and the time of trades.

In fact, CME is dependent on a third-part index data provider which receives market data, calculates the index price for Bitcoin, and routes it to the exchange.

Without a great deal of information presented by the exchanges, the CFTC took matters into its own hands, sending them a subpoena for the information. The CFTC is now said to be working along with the Justice Department to investigate the manipulation in the price of other digital currencies as well.

Others might argue, however, that market manipulation in the cryptocurrency space is obvious - and has been throughout the long-unregulated space's history. "If there is any kind of attempted manipulation, whoever is doing it is taking a huge amount of risk for very little possible upside".

CME offers traders a variety of bitcoin futures for months into the future.

Bitstamp chose not to comment on the investigation, and Coinbase did not respond to a request for comment.

Jesse Powell, the chief executive officer of Kraken, has criticised the subpoena, stating that the "newly declared oversight" of the CFTC "has the spot exchanges questioning the value and cost of their index participation".

Charles Cascarilla, chief executive of the company operating itBit, said there is clear desire for stricter oversight.

At the time, Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman had said, "With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in NY and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money".

Four major bitcoin exchanges have been ordered to turn over comprehensive trading information to US government investigators, following fears of bitcoin futures-driven market manipulation. Price fluctuation is high in this space while illegal trading is not a simple matter that can be pushed aside.

To the CFTC, bitcoin is a commodity.

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