CFTC Issues Subpoenas To Four Major Cryptocurrency Exchanges

13 Juin, 2018, 14:11 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • CME Group

US commodities regulatory body CFTC would join the US Justice Department in criminal investigations against pot Bitcoin markets over allegations of price manipulation by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). CME is said to be forming its Bitcoin futures prices based on information and data obtained from four crypto exchanges: Coinbase, ItBit, Kraken, and Bitstamp. In December previous year, it started selling Bitcoin-based futures contract, which are the contracts that describe transactions stipulated for a future date. Several exchanges chose not to comply, claiming CME's request was invasive.

Investigators from CFTC were not happy because CME did not have an agreement with the exchanges to share data which is related to a futures contract.

To understand why CFTC is investigating these major crypto exchanges it is important to know the working of CME and all these exchanges. The four exchanges relented, giving up limited data of a few of its participants.

The CFTC, which had supported the bitcoin futures' introduction which they saw as risky but worthwhile, became frustrated and subpoenaed the exchanges. Such an agreement would have detailed the type of trading information the CME would have received, including traders' identities, the time of trades, canceled or unfilled orders and size of orders.

According to sources, CME had approached a third-party London-based company to calculate the Bitcoin futures prices. The department is said to be looking for ways in which traders can manipulate prices of cryptocurrencies through illegal activities like wash trading. The launch of Bitcoin futures by CME was considered as a pioneering step by the industry experts and they expected that it will bring the digital currency into the mainstream.

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Neither Bitstamp nor Coinbase commented on the matter.

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". He stated earlier this week that bitcoin market manipulation concerns were overstated, and that anyone attempting to manipulate the market is taking a big risk for minimum benefit.

US Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) has sent subpoenas to bitcoin exchanges in its ongoing bitcoin manipulation probe that started at the end of last month.

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". In spoofing, traders submit large orders that cause other traders to raise their buy price which, in turn, allows the spoofers to sell at higher prices. Both the CFTC and the CME are monitoring trading for that hour to try and determine if individual trades could affect futures pricing.

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