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What? Bitcoin is being manipulated? The US Department of Justice looks to find out

The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into illicit value manipulations of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. The major concern is that the volatility and price swings might make it easy for traders to abuse the environment of the virtual currency.

Written by Becky Leighton Published on

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation into the manipulation of Bitcoin’s price.

The investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is the regulatory entity that authorized all of the licensing for Bitcoin contracts at the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – two of the US’s major trading exchanges.

Read: Millibitcoins, bits, and satoshi: What are Bitcoin’s sub-units?

News of the investigation comes from anonymous sources from within the DOJ who remain unnamed and are not authorized to comment on detailed matters of the probe. However, we do know from the sources that the investigation is pertinent to worries of manipulation regarding the values of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether.

The officials are concerned that cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to fraudulent behavior for a number of reasons, namely:

  • The cynicism that all exchanges are actively going out for swindlers.
  • The notorious volatility in price valuations could make it possible to manipulate the values without flagging unwarranted notice.
  • The difficult to protect users and traders owing to the lack of regulations that control stocks and assets.

The investigation is not looking into cryptocurrency exchanges in particular but has a focus on finding malicious traders who could be abusing the unregulated space to manipulate the system. The key focus of the probe is towards “spoofing” and “wash trading” – which are tactics of market manipulation market to produce a particular outcome or asset value.

The investigation was first publicized by Bloomberg on May 24th, and we can look at the data to see how Bitcoin traders have reacted to the news of both the probe and the potential asset manipulation.

Written by

Internet writer looking to find the right piece. Also presents things on radio and happens to be a chip off the old blockchain. @BeckyRLeighton

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