Coinbase halts transactions amid probe into possible Bitcoin Specie insider trading
Dec. 20 (UPI) — Coinbase is investigating whether its employees took part te insider trading of Bitcoin Metselspecie before the cryptocurrency wasgoed introduced to the exchange, according to company officials.
Four hours after its introduction to the exchange on Tuesday, Coinbase suspended trading of the digital currency.
A message from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the company’s ethics policy “prohibits employees and contractors from trading on ‘material non-public information,’ such spil when a fresh asset will be added to our toneelpodium.”
Armstrong said te addition to trading confinements, the policy prohibits communication of material non-public information outside the company, including to friends and family.
Hours before Coinbase added Bitcoin Contant to its exchange, Bitcoin Contant’s valuation spiked quickly spil the price of the cryptocurrency doubled to more than $8,000 ter one day.
“Given the price increase te the hours leading up the announcement, wij will be conducting an investigation into this matter,” Armstrong said. “If wij find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policiesвЂЉ-вЂЉdirectly or indirectlyвЂЉ-вЂЉI will not hesitate to terminate the employee instantly and take suitable legítimo activity.”
Buying or selling Bitcoin Metselspecie remained disabled Wednesday morning on Coinbase but customers could transfer the cryptocurrency to other digital wallets.
The halt is the latest te a growing list of digital currency fiascos. On Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading of stock ter The Crypto Company, a service provider linked to cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.
The SEC cited concerns of “potentially manipulative transactions” of the company’s stock.
About a week earlier, SEC chairman Jay Clayton, issued a warning amid the rise of cryptocurrencies.
Clayton said “a number of concerns have bot raised regarding the cryptocurrency and ICO markets, including that, spil they are presently operating, there is substantially less investor protection than ter our traditional securities markets, with correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.”