United States Attorney General Probes Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Sends Questionnaire

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is urging state lawmakers to quickly close a loophole in state law that could prevent him from bringing charges against anyone pardoned by President Trump. The probe is a fact-finding mission rather than a crackdown, with Schneiderman's office asking the exchanges to provide details on their operations, internal controls and safeguards.

The initiative aims to protect cryptocurrency investors and consumers by boosting the transparency and accountability of the digital trading platforms. (Kraken); Bittrex, Inc.; Circle Internet Financial Limited (Poloniex LLC); Binance Limited; Elite Way Developments LLP (Tidex.com); Gate Technology Incorporated (Gate.io); itBit Trust Company; and Huobi Global Limited (Huobi.Pro).

Most exchanges responded positively to the letters, stating publicly that they were looking forward to cooperating with the AG's inquiry and increasing transparency in the nascent space.

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He also blamed other cryptocurrency exchanges for "kowtowing" to the probe and others like it.

In his book on Bitcoin's early days, How Money Got Free, Brian Patrick Eha wrote that BitLicensing, "compelled more than a dozen companies -among them Kraken, Bitfinex and Local Bitcoins- to cease operations in ny". Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. "Moreover, published reports indicate the sector has attracted fraudsters, market manipulators, and thieves".

The Investor Protection Bureau sent questionnaire letters to the U.S. entities of Coinbase, Gemini, bitFlyer, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Kraken, Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance, Tidex, Gate and Huobi.

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"The extent of disclosures to customers about trading rules, internal controls, and other basic practices varies from platform to platform, making it hard or impossible for prospective users to evaluate the actual risks of trading on a particular platform", the office said.

"The press release continues to expand on Schneiderman's rationale, positing that "[often, exchanges] lack the basic market protections of traditional investing platforms". As a contributor to Billionaire 365, Jackson mostly covers markets and trade. "The Attorney General's office will analyze the responses, compare them across platforms, and at the conclusion of this process, present what it learned to the public", the announcement stated.

A 34-point questionnaire was attached to each letter, which requires exchanges to submit by May 1.

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You can read the questionnaire here.