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SAN FRANCISCO (Heartland Newsfeed) — The popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will be facing two new class-action lawsuits in Federal court, one of which accuses the exchange of insider trading.
The first suit, filed Thursday, claims that Coinbase employees unfairly profited from the December listing of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), citing that the August spinoff from Bitcoin (BTC) and December 19 trading launch resulted in the price skyrocketing to nearly $1,000. Additionally cited that while this news was a surprise to everyone, the suit states Coinbase employees knew well ahead of time, as well as anyone they may have told, with those insiders unfairly profiting when the price skyrocketed.
The lawsuit alleges that when trading began, insiders swamped Coinbase’s system with buy and sell orders at “fair prices” and had to suspend BCH trading until the following day to maintain liquidity.
“When Coinbase’s customers’ trades were finally executed, it was only after the insiders had driven up the price of bitcoin cash, and thus the remaining bitcoin customers only received their bitcoin cash at artificially inflated prices that had been manipulated well beyond the fair market value of bitcoin cash at that time,” the lawsuit claims.
At the time, Coinbase committed to conduct an investigation as to whether any employees acted improperly, something the suit states the company never revealed the results of.
BCH is the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, trading at $1,253 on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap, down from its December 20 peak above $4,000. BTC was trading at $11,319 Monday.
A second suit, filed Friday, involves two men who were unable to redeem Bitcoin that had been transferred to them and accuses Coinbase of fraudulently keeping funds that non-customers were able to access.
The suit claims that when Coinbase members send cryptocurrency to a non-member, they receive an email that gives them no alternative but to open a Coinbase account, in which the pair complains that thousands of people have been cryptocurrency sent to them in such way, but have been unable to redeem the funds they are owed.
Coinbase representatives did not immediately comment on either lawsuit.
The exchange has experienced a few rough weeks, including the turnover of data of 13,000 users to the Internal Revenue Service as an attempt to see if Bitcoin traders were evading taxes last Tuesday, according to a MarketWatch report.
Some Coinbase customers complained in February about getting overcharged for crypto purchases as a result of a systematic glitch that Coinbase attributes to how credit card issuers were processing cryptocurrency charges and fees, with Visa Inc. later stating that the exchange was not at fault.