A recent report by the Attorney General of the state of New York indicates that exchanges for cryptocurrency are at a high risk of market manipulation. The report, which was released on September 18, 2018 suggests that the cryptocurrency exchanges could also be at risk of conflict of interest problems and other consumer issues that would affect their value and stability over both short-term and long-range trading schedules. The report was the conclusion of an investigation called the "Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative." This report was initiated in April, 2018 by the former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Attorney General sent formal inquiries to 12 cryptocurrency exchanges in order to learn about their operations, internal controls and security. The report was made with the intent of giving consumers the information that they need to know in order to make informed investment decisions and to be aware of the risks involved with buying stock in cryptocurrency. Another goal of the report was to increase transparency around what cryptocurrency exchanges do and the protections that are in place for the platforms. Within the report, there is information about 10 of the 13 cryptocurrency exchanges. Those exchanges are located in the United States and abroad. The report also includes separate research conducted by the Attorney General of New York about digital currency trading markets as a whole. One of the findings in the report was that the cryptocurrency exchanges in general have a poor system for auditing. Most of the exchanges do not have an adequate means of conducting the audits or a process that triggers audits. This means that customer accounts could be put at risk of hacking or theft when unusual transactions take place. Another finding in the report found that abusive trading practices are rampant. Most of the trades occur with automated processes. Special conditions are given to those automated trades. This means that the everyday trader who does manual trades is put at a disadvantage over large firms or conglomerates that have the staff to code, test and implement automated trading programs. Overlapping lines of business are rampant in exchanges.
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