The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has revealed to the Financial Times that is is investigating 24 cryptocurrency businesses. The names of the “unauthorised” businesses under investigation was not revealed to the newspaper.
The news comes hot on the heels of US Justice Department launching a criminal investigation into price manipulation in the crypto sector and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigating initial coin offering (ICO) promoters in its Operation Cryptosweep. Four ICOs have been issued with cease-and-desist orders so far, with regulators in California and Alabama moving against ShipChain, a logistics blockchain effort and Extrabit, LEV and Platinum. The ICOs are accused of selling unregistered securities.
The price manipulation investigation is centring on the bitcoin and ether markets and is particularly concerned about “spoofing”. Spoofing is where traders make order that they don’t follow through with, giving a false impression of market activity, thereby influencing the price.
Bitcoin has recovered a little from its low at $7,300, but for the first time since 2015 closed below its 50-day moving average yesterday.
Naeem Aslam, writing on Forbes, points to the steadily increasing hash rate on the bitcoin network as indicating a bullish trend. He concluded:
“From the data presented we can draw the conclusion that the overall outlook on Bitcoin is bullish, at least in the eyes of the miners. After all, miners would not want to allocate their resources mining a digital asset they believe to be worthless. Miners are in the business to make money and perhaps the downturn in this market will allow them to accumulate more bitcoin at lower prices in preparation for the next Bull Run.”
In other news, a mosque in the UK has this week told the faithful that they can give money during Ramadan with crypto, a first for a mosque. The Dalston mosque in east London is well-known for its liberal attitudes and support of social justice causes.
Finally, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary announced on The Ellen Show Wednesday that they are donating $4 million USD to The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund on Ripple’s behalf, which is nice.