Bitcoin faced the prospect of falling to $7,000 Thursday as prices continued this week's downward momentum. Early morning trading saw bitcoin hit its lowest price since April 12 at $7,270. Here's what you need to know in crypto for Thursday, May 24.
U.S. Launches Probe Into Market Manipulation
The U.S. Justice Department launched a criminal investigation to determine whether traders were manipulating the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to Bloomberg. The investigation was said to be focused on illegal practices that have ratcheted up crypto prices, including spoofing, the practice in which traders flood the market with fake orders to breed large-scale buying or selling. The investigation will also probe wash trading, in which bad actors trade with themselves to create a false sense of demand in the market. The Justice Department is working in conjunction with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates cryptocurrency derivative products. The investigation was said to still be in its early stages.
Coinbase Set to Rebrand Platform
Coinbase announced that it will be rebranding its GDAX digital asset exchange to create a new version called Coinbase Pro. The new platform will aim to "make the trading experience easier and more intuitive," Coinbase said. It will feature a new charting system, streamlined access to historical price data and a consolidated portfolio view option. "Our vision is to give customers the ability to participate in services like staking and protocol voting that are distinct to crypto," Coinbase said. "As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways."
Germany Wants Bitcoin Products
Frankfurt Stock Exchange owner Deutsche Boerse is considering adding cryptocurrency products to its offerings, head of clients Jeffrey Tessler said at an industry event in London Wednesday. "We are deep at work with it," Tessler said, according to a Coindesk report. He noted that the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse will first work to gain a better understanding of the underlying transaction technology before adding anything to its offerings. Tessler said he and his team will study cryptocurrency volatility and make sure regulators are "in line" before any major moves are made.
Singapore Offers Warnings
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has warned eight cryptocurrency exchanges to stay away from trading digital tokens that could be classified as securities or futures contracts. "If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorized as an approved exchange or recognized by market operator by MAS," authorities said in a statement Thursday. MAS also said it warned one cryptocurrency firms that initial coin offering (ICO)issuers should stop selling tokens that represent securities.