Coinbase Is Investigating Possible Bitcoin Cash Insider Trading by Employees

Posted December 22, 2017

Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter.

Coinbase is a Bitcoin broker, exchange and wallet provider. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies - directly or indirectly - I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.

The cryptocurrency website Coinbase said it was looking into price movements that occurred shortly after Coinbase launched bitcoin cash on its exchange. In addition to Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, Coinbase now also supports Bitcoin Cash. Owners of Bitcoins at the time of the fork were rewarded with an equal sum of Bitcoin Cash.

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Bitcoin's price plummeted to as low as $15,800, reported Bitstamp and to as low as $16,484 on Coinbase, a 12 percent decline. "Bitcoin has faced a lot of scaling issues with the block sizes and so on, so I think Bitcoin cash has solved a lot of these issues". For instance, Coinbase and GDAX often trade Bitcoin itself higher than other exchanges.

The San Francisco-based company said it's investigating a price increase in Bitcoin cash ahead of the announcement.

Bitcoin cash split off from bitcoin on August 1 after a minority of developers made a decision to implement an upgrade to improve transaction efficiency. The code that Bitcoin Cash runs on is created to fix some of the issues that old school Bitcoin has faced with scaling.

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Users who had Bitcoin in Coinbase at the moment of the fork will now see their Bitcoin Cash in their Coinbase account. As of now, both Coinbase and GDAX seem to be experiencing some irregular outages, so Bitcoin Cash trading has been suspended temporarily.

Coinbase's ethics policy prevents employees from "trading on 'material non-public information, ' such as when a new asset will be added to our platform", wrote Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong in a Medium post today. It was recently at $17 025.45, about 13% off its record high on Monday, but still up about 1 700% this year.

This possible leak of information on Bitcoin's new trading habit follows behind recent data from Australian researchers that prove half of all Bitcoin activity is used to buy and sell illegal goods and services such as weapons, drugs and pirated software.

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For now, all eyes are on Bitcoin Cash while other tokens are seeing dives.