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As a medium of exchange, an investment product, a technology, and an emerging economic sector, virtual currency is complex and evolving rapidly. Virtual Currency Trading Platforms Public interest in virtual currency — bitcoin, ether, and other digital units used to store or exchange value — has increased significantly.
There are currently more than 1, different virtual currencies exchanged around the world, with more released each month.
No longer the exclusive province of tech-savvy hobbyists and traders, virtual currency now appeals to Wall Street firms and "mom-and-pop" retail investors.
To access the virtual currency marketplace, investors rely on virtual asset trading platforms, often referred to as "exchanges.
But unlike those traditional players, virtual asset trading platforms now in operation have not registered under state or federal securities or commodities laws.
Nor have they implemented common standards for security, internal controls, market surveillance protocols, disclosures, or other investor and consumer protections. Accordingly, customers of virtual asset trading platforms face significant risks.
Delays and outages on trading platforms are common, leaving customers unable to withdraw funds and susceptible to significant losses given volatile prices. Public reports also have linked certain trading platforms to deceptive and predatory practices, market manipulation, and insider abuses.
Trading platforms vary in how they have responded to these risks. Some have taken significant, concrete steps to improve the safety, reliability, and transparency of their operations. Meanwhile, customers have had limited access to the information needed to assess the security and fundamental fairness of platforms, or to comparison shop among them.
The Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative The OAG enforces laws that protect investors and consumers from unfair and deceptive practices and that safeguard the fairness and integrity of the financial markets. To that end, in Aprilthe OAG commenced the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative the "Initiative"a fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of virtual asset trading platforms.
The OAG sent letters and questionnaires to thirteen major trading platforms. A sample letter follows this Report as Appendix A. The OAG sought voluntary participation, expecting that platforms would embrace the opportunity to provide the public with much-needed clarity regarding basic practices and functionality.
Nine of the thirteen platforms participated in the Initiative: Bitfinex operated by iFinex Inc. HBUS elected to do so, and its responses are included in this Report.
The information provided by these platforms forms the basis of this Report. Four platforms — Binance Limited, Gate. The Report includes the following sections: Jurisdiction, Acceptance of Currencies, and Fees.
This section discusses how customers sign up with trading platforms, the access controls in place at the platforms, their acceptance of fiat currency i.
Trading Policies And Market Fairness. This section addresses the trading rules in place at the trading platforms and the fairness for retail investors, and includes discussion of order types, the availability of credit margin tradingpolicies on automated or algorithmic trading, and measures taken if any to address market manipulation and other abusive trading practices.
Managing Conflicts of Interest. This section addresses potential conflicts that may arise between the interests of virtual asset trading platforms, their employees, and their customers.
This section covers the use of independent auditing by the trading platforms, their independent security testing, and their safeguarding of customer funds through insurance and other means. Access to Customer Funds, Suspensions, and Outages.
This section discusses select issues concerning customer transactions and withdrawals, policies for suspending trading activity, including customer notification in the event of outages or scheduled maintenance. Each section presents the responses of participating platforms to specific, targeted questions on topics relevant to retail customers.
Does the platform conduct independent testing to ensure adequate IT security against threats, including hackers? Does the platform allow professional traders to use automated or algorithmic trading?
Does the platform trade against its own customers on its venue? Does the platform carry insurance that would cover virtual currency losses in the event of theft or hacking? Does the platform compile, disclose, and explain site outages or trading suspensions?
Limitations of This Report This Report does not address whether virtual currency represents a sound investment decision.This investigation into the systems and structures of the sheepmeat market was commissioned by industry research development corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), at the request of peak industry body, Sheep Producers Australia (SPA).
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The requirements of such an investigation will vary by state, but will . Structural Investigation of Historic Buildings: A Case Study Guide to Preservation Technology for Buildings, Bridges, Towers, and Mills provides a practical guide for consulting structural engineers and others on dealing with issues unique to .
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Nor have they implemented common standards for security, internal controls, market surveillance protocols, disclosures, or other investor and consumer protections. and their fee structures. Section II: Trading Policies And Market Fairness.
This section addresses the trading rules in place at the trading platforms and the fairness for retail.