Coinbase, Binance Being Probed by US Authorities as Part of New Integrity Initiative
Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General for the state of New York, recently commenced proceedings for a major probe that will scrutinize the daily trade activities of many of the top cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the state today.
In a widespread effort to clamp down on illegal money laundering issues as well to safeguard investor and consumer interests, Schneiderman announced that 13 big-name cryptocurrency exchanges would be scrutinized and examined in relation to their activities pertaining to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.
As per the new Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative, the Attorney General has issued letters to many exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, bitFlyer USA, Bitfinex, and Bitstamp. The probe aims to introduce more transparency within this emerging market sector as well as to make the entire process of buying/selling digital assets more streamlined.
Speaking on his latest efforts, Attorney General Schneiderman said:
“With (various) cryptocurrencies on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money. Yet too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms.”
He went on to add that by implementing this new initiative, the government will be able to promote a higher level of accountability within the virtual currency marketplace, thereby allowing investors and consumers to be more relaxed when operating within this volatile domain.
As part of the line of questioning devised by the AG’s office, each questionnaire requests for specific information from the listed exchanges in relation to their:
- Trade policies and procedures
- Basic operational practices.
- Fee structures
- Control modules in place to prevent money laundering and hacks.
While this latest step is aimed primarily at protecting the financial interests of investors within the state of New York, the cross-border nature of cryptocurrencies means that the result of such an investigation could have far-reaching and more profound effects for the crypto community at large.
With IMF head Christine Lagarde recently calling for more uniform regulations within the crypto space, such steps indicate the willingness of governments in the west to adopt alt-assets as well as their underlying technology, the blockchain.