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Following $6.5 million CFTC fine, Coinbase delays direct stock listing

The crypto exchange escapes regulatory scrutiny with a slap on the wrist, but no stock listing on exchanges until next month
After settling charges of improper reporting of exchange volume and “self-trading” with the CFTC yesterday, reports have emerged that cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase is set to push back its stock listing to next month. The company had previously been expected to go public some time in March. Yesterday, March 19 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced a settlement with Coinbase over charges that the company inaccurately reported trading data on Bitcoin, and that an employee “self-traded” to create the illusion of volume and demand for Litecoin. “Reporting false, misleading, or inaccurate transaction information undermines the integrity of digital asset pricing,” said Acting Director of Enforcement Vincent McGonagle. “This enforcement action sends the message that the Commission will act to safeguard the integrity and transparency of such information.”The CFTC order says that between January 2015 and September 2018 the company operated two automated trading programs, Hedger and Replicator. While the exchange disclosed the use of a trading program, they did not reveal that they were using two that often matched trades. As a result, the Coinbase API delivered fraudulent trading data to entities such as the CME Bitcoin Real Time Index, and CoinMarketCap, as well as NYSE Bitcoin Index via “direct transmission” from Coinbase. The CFTC notes that this falsified data “potentially resulted in a perceived volume and level of liquidity of digital assets, including Bitcoin, that was false, misleading, or inaccurate.” …
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