On Thursday, a Coinbase product manager was charged in what prosecutors call the “first-ever cryptocurrency insider trading.”
The suspect, Ishan Wahi, is accused of secretly using information about new cryptocurrencies that the company was about to add to its exchange to then buy those coins before they were listed and the prices went down. explode.
Ironically, Wahi wrote a blog post in March about the “company’s efforts to bring you more transparency and information about newly tradable assets, and how we’re introducing more tools and protections.”
But his signature disappeared from the message without explanation, leaving the advice of an insider trading suspect to consumers who have no way of knowing the author’s legal status.
A technology ethics expert from Santa Clara University said the company’s remaining unsigned blog post puts consumers in a bad spot.
“When they keep his blog open and don’t post any notes that he was fired and charged with a crime, that’s information most readers would want to know,” said Don Heider, executive director of the Markkula Center. for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. “If they left the message in place and just removed the signature, it’s not transparent. It’s a bit sneaky.”
Coinbase is a $16 billion company with executive offices in San Francisco, a leader in industry resistance to regulation. On Thursday, the company lambasted the Securities Exchange Commission because “the Commission recently announced that it would double the size of the enforcement unit that handles crypto and cyber business. This enforcement-focused approach has stifled the development of the cryptocurrency market”.
When published, the blog post featured Wahi’s signature, internet records show, and he appears in company tweets from March. But the byline is no longer on the post and there is no editorial note indicating that it has been removed.
The message reads: “Our goal is to be as transparent as possible with our customers regarding business risks.” But the message about transparency and alerting users to trading risks no longer shows that it was written by a former employee accused of insider trading.
The company has updated several other blog posts with information about the investigation, with detailed notes in italics at the top explaining the updates.
Coinbase has faced heavy criticism on Twitter over its slow response to alleged insider trading, which was first reported by a cryptocurrency expert with the Twitter account @cobie in April. On Thursday, he said on Twitter that he had reported the issue months before.
In a thread about the investigation, a Twitter user and crypto expert who uses the handle @0xfoobar responded to a Coinbase employee praising the company’s investigation by tweeting, “Come on man, a year late and only after being picked up on several viral tweets Hell, you asked the insider trader to write your own blog post about how Coinbase will provide greater transparency.
It’s not unusual for crypto experts to use their Twitter handles but not disclose their full names on the platform.
When The Examiner searched for this blog post, the byline was not there.
The company did not immediately respond to questions about why a criminal suspect’s signature was no longer on a message about being “as transparent as possible with our customers.” Coinbase also did not immediately explain why an article was left on its trading risk blog written by a suspect accused of insider trading.
“At Coinbase, your trust is our top priority,” reads the message formerly attributed to the insider trading suspect.