The criminal probe will be focused on the illegal practices that may have influenced the prices of the famous cryptocurrency in the past, including spoofing or flooding the market with fake orders. This would have caused traders to change their investment decisions, creating an artificial change in the price of the digital asset.
At the moment, the federal prosecutors involved in this case are working side by side with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an important financial regulator in the U.S.
Since the beginning of May Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency market in general, have been in a bear trend. BTC lost $2,500 dollars or 26% of its price in just 15 days.
This is not the first time that there is an investigation around virtual currencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has been trying to regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and similar projects due to the fact that there have been several scam cases. Investors have been losing their funds due to fraudulent activities, and unsustainable projects.
Other countries have decided to take harder measures regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. This is the case of China, that banned all trading activities and ICOs. Japan, Malta and Switzerland have taken more open policies towards digital assets – including more friendly regulations.