Scammers have been successfully manipulating the price of digital assets, including bitcoin, so they can dump their holdings onto unsuspecting traders at a higher price, according to a new academic paper mapping out the extent of market abuse in cryptocurrencies.
Researchers identified 4,818 so-called pump-and-dump attempts between January and July, using data scraped from Telegram and Discord, two encrypted messaging apps popular with the cryptocurrency community.
The scale of the fraud is “widespread and often quite profitable,” and should alarm regulators, according to the draft published in SSRN, a repository of academic research.
“The proliferation of cryptocurrencies and changes in technology have made it easier to conduct pump and dump schemes,” academics from the University of Tulsa, University of New Mexico and Tel Aviv University wrote. “While the fundamentals of the ruse have not changed in the last century, the recent explosion of nearly 2,000 cryptocurrencies in a largely unregulated environment has greatly expanded the scope for abuse.”
Many of the groups attempting to manipulate cryptomarkets do not hide their goals, the paper said, attributing this to a regulatory vacuum.
The study gives further ammunition to calls for tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has cited concerns about manipulation as a worry that must be addressed before it approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
The US Department of Justice in May opened a probe into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, ratcheting up scrutiny of the space.
Pumping obscure coins with low volume is “much more profitable than pumping the dominant coins in the ecosystem,” the researchers found.
However, bitcoin was also targeted in 82 manipulation efforts, the study showed.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has
PRICE SPREAD: Oil trading under the Brent futures contract is giving the US a hefty edge in pricing, increasing the rush to secure cheap fuel as winter approaches Asian demand for US oil is rising as the energy crisis boosts prices for other crudes that are priced against the global Brent futures contract. China and other Asian buyers have been snapping up supertankers of US oil for delivery next month and seeking more for December, some traders have said. Most buyers are seeking US grades that had recently slumped to the lowest levels in more than a year, with an added incentive after Beijing awarded millions of tonnes of crude oil import quotas. A wide spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures is accommodating higher US crude