Feds announce first crypto insider trading indictment

July 22, 2022

Federal law enforcement officials announced the first-ever insider trading tipping indictment involving cryptocurrency.

Details: The Justice Department indictment targets a former Coinbase product manager, who allegedly shared confidential listing information with associates to place profitable trades ahead of public listing announcements.

SEC Complaint: The Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaint in the case lists nine cryptocurrencies it says are securities—AMP, RLY, DDX, XYO, RGT, LCX, POWR, DFX, and KROM—adding to the ongoing policy debate over crypto regulation, which remains unsettled.

CFTC Dissent: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission took notice of the SEC’s action. In a dissent, CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham said the SEC complaint is an example of “regulation by enforcement” with broad implications that require regulators to work together on open policy questions.

ICBA Position: ICBA has repeatedly called on policymakers to bring digital assets within the regulatory perimeter—including in a recent comment letter to the Commerce Department—and recently published a series of blog posts on the collapse of TerraUSD, its ongoing impact on financial markets, and how it affects community banks and the regulatory debate.