Ex-Coinbase Manager Charged in First-Ever Crypto Insider Trading Case

    Photo: Bloomberg News [via The Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • A former employee of cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has been charged with insider trading by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

    • Ishan Wahi is alleged to have passed along confidential information about Coinbase's plans to make certain cryptocurrency tokens available on the platform to his brother, Nikhil Wahi, and his brother's friend Sammer Ramani.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Fraud is fraud whether it happens on Wall Street or in cyberspace. US law enforcement authorities have demonstrated with this case that they are well equipped to pursue fraud even into the furthest reaches of the blockchain.

    Narrative B

    The criminal charges are getting all the press, but crypto industry insiders know that the real headline here is from the parallel civil suit filed by the SEC, which asserts that the crypto tokens in question were in fact "securities." That could be a signal that the SEC is set to crack down on crypto exchanges that traded in tokens.

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