The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has accused crypto exchange Coinsquare of market manipulation.
On July 16, the OSC released a statement of allegation against Coinsquare and its management team. The execs include CEO Cole Diamond, founder and CTO Virgile Rostand, and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) Felix Mazer. According to the document, the company and its execs are accused of “market manipulation through the reporting of inflated trading volumes.”
The execs announced that they would be seeking a settlement agreement with capital market regulators next week Tuesday. As at press time, terms of the settlement have not yet been disclosed to the public, pending OSC’s approval.
The OSC document says that 90% of Coinsquare’s trading volume between July 2018 and December 2019 determined to be “wash trades”. Wash trade is an artificial inflation of trading volumes. The wash trades were valued to be about 560,000 BTC.
In December 2019, an employee who suspected foul play was terminated.
The OSC intends to make an example out of Coinsquare. It says it will hold the company and its execs “accountable for their misconduct and to send a message to other market participants in the crypto asset sector that deceptive conduct will not be tolerated in Ontario’s capital markets.”
Coinsquare has taken full responsibility and is working to resolve the allegation quietly.
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