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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued warnings. A May 2014"Investor Alert" warned that investments involving bitcoin may have elevated rates of fraud, and that investors may be solicited on interpersonal media websites.175 An earlier"Investor Alert" warned about the usage of bitcoin in Ponzi schemes.176

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The European Banking Authority issued a warning in 2013 focusing on the lack of regulation of bitcoin, the chance that exchanges could be hacked, the volatility of bitcoin's price, and general fraud.148

The self-regulatory organization FINRA and the North American Securities Administrators Association have both issued investor alerts about bitcoin.177178

An official investigation into bitcoin dealers was reported in May 2018. The U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into potential price manipulation, including the techniques of spoofing and scrub transactions.180181182 Traders in the U.S., the U.K, South Korea, and maybe other countries are being investigated. Brett Redfearn, head of the U.S.

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The U.S. federal investigation was prompted by concerns of potential manipulation during futures settlement dates. The final settlement price of CME bitcoin futures is determined by prices on four exchanges, Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken. Following the initial shipping date in January 2018, the CME requested extensive detailed trading information but a few of the exchanges refused to supply it and later provided only limited information.

State and provincial securities regulators, coordinated throughout the North American Securities Administrators Association, are investigating"bitcoin scams" and ICOs in 40 jurisdictions.185

Academic research published in the Journal of Monetary Economics concluded that cost manipulation occurred during the Mt Gox bitcoin theft and the market remains vulnerable to manipulation.186 The background of hacks, fraud and theft involving bitcoin dates back to at least 2011.187

Research by John M. Griffin and Amin Shams in 2018 suggests that trading associated with increases in the amount of the Tether cryptocurrency and associated trading in the Bitfinex exchange account for about half of the price increase in bitcoin in late 2017.188189

J.L. van der Velde, CEO of Bitfinex and Tether, denied the claims of price manipulation:"Bitfinex nor Tether is, or has ever, engaged in any kind of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the amount of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex. "190

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The Bank for International Settlements summarized several criticisms of bitcoin in Chapter V of their 2018 annual report. The criticisms include the lack of equilibrium in bitcoin's cost, the high energy consumption, high and variable transactions costs, the bad security and fraud at cryptocurrency exchanges, vulnerability to debasement (from forking), and also the influence of miners.191192193.

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The Economist wrote in 2015 that these criticisms are unfair, predominantly because the shady image may compel users to overlook the capabilities of the blockchain technology, but also on account of the fact that the volatility of bitcoin is changing in time.194

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been identified as economic bubbles by eight Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureates, including Robert Shiller,195 Joseph Stiglitz,196 and Richard Thaler.19713 Noted Keyensian economist Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times column criticizing bitcoin, calling it a bubble and a fraud;198 and professor Nouriel Roubini this page of New York University called bitcoin the"mother of all bubbles. "199 Central bankers, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan,200 investors such as Warren Buffett,201202 and George Soros203 have said similar opinions, as have business executives like Jamie Dimon and Jack Ma.204.

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Bitcoin has been criticized for the amount of electricity consumed by mining. As of 2015update, The Economist estimated that even if all miners utilized modern amenities, the combined electricity consumption would be 166.7 megawatts (1.46 terawatt-hours annually ).133

At the end of 2017, the worldwide bitcoin mining activity has been estimated to consume between one and four gigawatts of power.205 Politico noted that the even high-end quotes of bitcoin's overall consumption levels amount to only approximately 6 percent of the total energy consumed read this post here by the global banking industry, and even if bitcoin's consumption levels browse around this web-site increased 100 fold from the current levels, bitcoin's consumption would still only amount to approximately 2% of global power consumption.206.

To lower the costs, bitcoin miners have set up in places like Iceland where renewable energy is economical and cooling Arctic air is liberated.207 Bitcoin miners are known to use hydroelectric power in Tibet, Quebec, Washington (state), and Austria to reduce electricity costs.206208209210 Miners are attracted to suppliers like Hydro Quebec who have energy surpluses.211 According to a University of Cambridge study, much of bitcoin mining is done in China, where power has been subsidized by the government.212213.

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