The US government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined digital asset exchange operator Coinbase $6.5 million for "reckless false, misleading, or inaccurate reporting as well as wash trading by a former employee," it said in a release on Friday. The issues that resulted in this penalty took place between January 2015 and September 2018. Coinbase agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying CFTC's claim, clearing a major hurdle before its direct listing on the NASDAQ, according to the Wall Street Journal. Coinbase, which was founded in 2012 as a platform to trade cryptocurrencies, currently has 43 million users and 7000 institutional customers, according to the prospectus filed for its proposed listing. The San-Francisco based exchange is one of the largest crypto-currency exchanges in the world. As India is grappling with the idea of regulating the industry, the investigation by the CFTC into internal trading algorithms and programs used by crypto-exchanges is significant for Indian regulators and policy makers. Violations found by CFTC Coinbase was operating two automated programs, Hedger and Replicator, on its GDAX (now known as Coinbase Pro) trading platform during this period. Although Coinbase disclosed that the company itself was trading on the platform, it failed to disclose that it was operating more than one trading program and trading through multiple accounts, the CFTC said. It added that both programs Hedger and Replicator, at times carried out trades that matched each other in certain trading pairs. This resulted in trades between accounts owned by Coinbase. This…
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