The U.S. Department of Justice(DOJ) has began investigation of crypto market price manipulation. According to bloomberg, federal prosecutors are partnering with Community Futures Trading Commission(CFTC) to investigate possible price manipulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies.
For years, financial regulators have worked hard to eliminate illicite trading practises from the mainstream market. However, crypto market is mostly unregulated making price manipulation an easy possibility.
The investigation which is in its early stage, is directed at illegal practises such as wash trading and spoofing that can influence market prices . Spoofing refers to flooding the market with fake orders thereby luring other traders into buying or selling, while wash trading involves creating false market volume through trading with one’s self consequently influencing other traders to dive in. According to bloomberg, four unnamed sources revealed that that federal prosecutors are worried that is overrun with misconduct leading to irregular rise and fall of market prices.
In a statement, John Graffin, University of Texas finance professor had this to say:
“There is very little monitoring of manipulative trading, spoofing and wash trading. It would be easy to spoof this market”
Crypto exchange platforms are also taking the lead to device a means to cub price manipulation.