The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened a criminal investigation into possible market manipulation of prices of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin by traders.
DOJ is working together with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to focus on illegal trading activities in cryptocurrency markets.
The investigation is narrowing on «spoofing», a form of market manipulation wherein traders enter a flurry of false orders to deceive other market participants into buying or selling, as well as «wash trading» – wherein traders sells and buys with themselves to purport heightened market activity in order to stroke confidence among other investors and lure them into the market.
Currently the investigation is in its «early stages» with prosecutors looking into a cryptocurrency trading markets including that of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Amid such news, the prices of cryptocurrencies continue to fall. Bitcoin is trading at $7 538,63 (-4,83% for 24-hour period). Ethereum is down by 6% and trading at $586,22.
The cryptocurrency market capitalization is $322 910 000 000 at the press time.