A former product manager at crypto exchange Coinbase pleaded guilty on Tuesday in what U.S. federal prosecutors have called the first insider trading case involving cryptocurrency, Reuters rapor.
Ishan Wahi, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after initially pleading not guilty last year, his defense lawyer said in a court hearing. According to the prosecutors, Wahi shared confidential information with his brother Nikhil and their friend Sameer Ramani about upcoming announcements of new digital assets that Coinbase would let users trade.
Between June 2021 and April 2022, Wahi and Ramani were charged with using Ethereum blockchain wallets to acquire digital assets and trading at least 14 times before Coinbase announcements. Prosecutors said such announcements typically caused the value of the assets to rise and generated at least $1.5 million in illicit gains.
Wahi later pleaded guilty in September 2022 to a wire fraud conspiracy charge, and in January was sentenced to 10 months in prison while Ramani still remains at large.
The news comes just a month after Coinbase Global reached a $100 million deal to settle with US regulators over anti-money-laundering law violations. Coinbase agreed to “pay a $50 million fine after financial regulators found that it let customers open accounts without conducting sufficient background checks.” The settlement closes the regulator’s investigation into the firm’s compliance with requirements to prevent money laundering.
Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, the San Francisco, California-based Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with new digital currencies like bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Since its inception nine years ago, Coinbase has raised a total of $847.3 million in funding over 14 rounds. Its latest funding was raised on December 21, 2018, from a secondary market round.
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- Kaynak: https://techstartups.com/2023/02/07/ex-coinbase-manager-pleads-guilty-to-the-first-case-of-cryptocurrency-insider-trading/