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Category Archives: Securities Law

More Than Half Of All Bitcoin Trades Are Fake

Forbes Digital Assests – “A new Forbes analysis of 157 crypto exchanges finds that 51% of the daily bitcoin trading volume being reported is likely bogus. Within the emerging and turbulent market for cryptocurrencies, where there are no fewer than 10,000 tokens, bitcoin, is the great granddaddy, the blue-chip, representing 40% of the $1 trillion in crypto assets outstanding. Bitcoin is crypto’s gateway drug. An estimated 46 million adult Americans already own it according to New York Digital Investment Group, and an increasing number of institutional investors and corporations are warming to the nascent alternative asset. But can you trust what your crypto exchange or e-brokerage reports about trading in the most important digital currency? One of the most common criticisms of bitcoin is pervasive wash trading (a form of fake volume) and poor surveillance across exchanges. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission defines wash trading as “entering into, or purporting to enter into, transactions to give the appearance that purchases and sales have been made, without incurring market risk or changing the trader’s market position.” The reason why some traders engage in wash trading is to inflate the trading volume of an asset to give the appearance of rising popularity. In some cases trading bots execute these wash trades in tokens, increasing volume, while at the same time insiders reinforce the activity with bullish remarks, driving up the price in what is effectively a pump and dump scheme. Wash trading also benefits exchanges because it allows them to appear to have more volume than they actually do, potentially encouraging more legitimate trading.

There is no universally accepted method of calculating bitcoin daily volume, even among the industry’s most reputable research firms. For instance, as of this writing, CoinMarketCap puts the latest 24-hour trading of bitcoin at $32 billion, CoinGecko at $27 billion, Nomics at $57 billion and Messari at $5 billion. Adding to the challenges are persistent fears about the solvency of crypto exchanges, underscored by the public collapses of Voyager and Celsius. In an exclusive interview with Forbes in late June, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried commented that there are many exchange bankruptcies yet to come. A significant repercussion of this lack of faith in its underlying markets is the Security and Exchange Commission’s refusal to approve a spot bitcoin ETF…”

The Future of Corporate Criminal Liability: Watching the ESG Space

Nelson, J.S. (Josephine Sandler), The Future of Corporate Criminal Liability: Watching the ESG Space (January 15, 2022). J.S. Nelson, The Future of Corporate Criminal Liability: Watching the ESG Space, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4057736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4057736 “The future of corporate criminal liability in the U.S. and around the world may be for failure to adequately act… Continue Reading

CRS – How Treasury Issues Debt

How Treasury Issues Debt, Updated June 14, 2022 [21 pages]: “The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), among other roles, manages the country’s debt. The primary objective of Treasury’s debt management strategy is to finance the government’s borrowing needs at the lowest cost over time. To accomplish this Treasury adheres to three principles: (1) to… Continue Reading

A wild new court decision would blow up much of the government’s ability to operate

Vox: “The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued yet another astonishing decision on Wednesday. Jarkesy v. SEC seeks to dismantle much of the system the federal government uses to enforce longstanding laws and to determine who is eligible for federal benefits. And it does so in defiance of numerous Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Overview of the SEC Climate Risk Disclosure Proposed Rule

CRS Insight: Overview of the SEC Climate Risk Disclosure Proposed Rule, May 17, 2022 “On March 21, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3-1 to issue sweeping proposed climate-related disclosure rules for public companies. In issuing the proposed rules, the SEC cited its existing statutory authorities under the federal securities laws— specifically, the… Continue Reading

Coding and Collaboration: Data Analytics in the Law School Classroom

Alexander, Charlotte and Iannarone, Nicole G., Coding and Collaboration: Data Analytics in the Law School Classroom (June 2021). Forthcoming, Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3965047 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3965047 “Technological advances provide opportunities for lawyers to deliver sophisticated – and cost effective – legal advice. A basic understanding of the emerging field of… Continue Reading

A 2011 dictionary is reshaping the language of corporate reporting

Quartz – “A new corporate principle is: Never say you’re restating anything. The machines will hold it against you. Over the past decade, “restatement” is the word companies have most strenuously tried to avoid in the text of their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to an upcoming paper by academics at Georgia… Continue Reading

COVID-19 Liability: Tort, Workplace Safety, and Securities Law

CRS report via LC – COVID-19 Liability: Tort, Workplace Safety, and Securities Law, September 24, 2020: “Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding, a number of plaintiffs have already filed lawsuits seeking compensation for COVID-19-related injuries. Some stakeholders have expressed concern that the risk of COVID-19-related lawsuits threatens a range of businesses and other entities… Continue Reading

How to make sure Google automatically deletes your data on a regular basis

Vox: “…The company announced on Wednesday that auto-delete will be the default setting for user account activity settings. That said, this “default” setting only applies to new accounts or existing accounts that now turn on data retention after having it disabled. And the default auto-delete time still gives Google as much as three years of… Continue Reading

SEC is plugged into the potential pitfalls of making Covid-19 vaccines

Via Quartz: SEC filings tell us a lot about the potential pitfalls of making Covid-19 vaccines. Companies working on vaccines detail how unlikely it is for a trial to fail, and it underscores how vaccines aren’t a magic bullet—total public health must be considered if we’re going to make progress….Enter 8-K forms. Publicly-traded companies are required… Continue Reading