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'' The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued warnings. A May 2014"Investor Alert" warned that investments involving bitcoin may have high rates of fraud, and that investors might be solicited on interpersonal media sites.175 An earlier"Investor Alert" warned about the use of bitcoin in Ponzi schemes.176
The European Banking Authority issued a warning in 2013 focusing on the lack of regulation of bitcoin, the chance that exchanges would be hacked, the volatility of bitcoin's price, and general fraud.148
The self-regulatory organization FINRA and the North American Securities Administrators Association have both issued investor alarms about bitcoin.177178
An official investigation into bitcoin traders was reported in May 2018. The U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into possible price manipulation, including the techniques of spoofing and wash trades.180181182 Traders in the U.S., the U.K, South Korea, and maybe other countries are being investigated. Brett Redfearn, head of the U.S.
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The U.S. national investigation was prompted by concerns of potential manipulation during futures settlement dates. The final settlement price of CME bitcoin futures contract is determined by prices on four exchanges, Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken. Following the initial shipping date in January 2018, the CME asked extensive detailed trading information but a few of the exchanges refused to supply it and afterwards provided only limited information.
State and provincial securities authorities, coordinated throughout the North American Securities Administrators Association, are investigating"bitcoin scams" and ICOs in 40 jurisdictions.185
Academic research published in the Journal of Monetary Economics concluded that cost manipulation happened during the Mt Gox bitcoin theft and the market remains vulnerable to manipulation.186 The history of hacks, fraud and theft involving bitcoin dates back to at least 2011.187
Research by John M. Griffin and Amin Shams in 2018 indicates that trading related to increases in the amount of the Tether cryptocurrency and associated trading in the Bitfinex exchange account for roughly half of the price increase in bitcoin in late 2017.188189
J.L. van der Velde, CEO of Bitfinex and Tether, check my blog denied the claims of price manipulation:"Bitfinex nor Tether is, or has , engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the amount of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex. "190
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The Bank for International Settlements outlined several criticisms of bitcoin in Chapter V of the 2018 annual report. The criticisms include the absence of stability in bitcoin's price, the high energy consumption, high and variable transactions costs, the poor security and fraud in cryptocurrency exchanges, vulnerability to debasement (from forking), and also the influence of miners.191192193.
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The Economist wrote in 2015 these criticisms are unfair, predominantly since the shady image may induce users to forget the capabilities of their blockchain technology, but also on account of the fact that the volatility of bitcoin is changing in time.194
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been identified as economic bubbles by at least eight Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureates, including more helpful hints Robert Shiller,195 Joseph Stiglitz,196 and Richard Thaler.19713 Noted Keyensian economist Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times column criticizing bitcoin, calling it a bubble and a fraud;198 and professor Nouriel Roubini of New York University known as bitcoin that the"mother of all bubbles. "199 Central bankers, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan,200 investors like Warren Buffett,201202 and George Soros203 have said similar views, as have business executives like Jamie Dimon and Jack Ma.204.
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Bitcoin has been criticized for the amount of electricity consumed by mining. As of 2015update, The Economist estimated that even if all miners utilized modern amenities, the combined electricity consumption would be 166.7 megawatts (1.46 terawatt-hours annually ).133
In the end of 2017, the global bitcoin mining activity has been estimated to consume between one and four gigawatts of power.205 Politico noted that the even high-end estimates of bitcoin's overall consumption levels amount to only approximately 6% of the total energy consumed by the international banking sector, and even if bitcoin's consumption levels increased 100 fold from the current levels, bitcoin's consumption would still only amount to about 2% of international electricity consumption.206.
To lower the costs, bitcoin miners have set up in areas like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic atmosphere is liberated.207 Bitcoin miners are known to utilize hydroelectric power in Tibet, Quebec, Washington (state), and Austria to reduce electricity costs.206208209210 Miners are drawn to providers like Hydro Quebec that have energy surpluses.211 According to a University of Cambridge study, a lot of bitcoin mining is done in China, where power has been subsidized by the government.212213.