DAILY SPICE: Lawsuit stalls against Coinbase, which alleged Bitcoin Cash (BCH) insider trading, as a judge has suspended the case. Over half of crypto news outlets polled, according to yet another crypto news site, are willing to accept money for favorable coverage. Those stories and more are today’s focus, so buckle up, it’s going to get spicy!
Coinbase Insider Trading Lawsuit Stalls
Popular cryptocurrency bank and exchange, Coinbase, came under fire for its rollout of enabling BCH to be traded on its platform late last year. Allegations of insider trading, employees tipping one another off ahead of the formal announcement, dominated headlines for months.
This week the judge in the case issued a ruling, insisting plaintiff Jeffrey Berk did “not sufficiently articulate the legal bases for his claims.” Berk was essentially tasked with representing all users, and brought his suit in spring of this year concerning one of the last weeks the prior December.
His complaint maintained, “On December 19, 2017, a month after tipping off its own employees as to when it would commence fully supporting BCH, Coinbase suddenly announced that it was opening up its books to the buying and selling of BCH within minutes after its announcements. Unsurprisingly, those who had been tipped off, immediately swamped Coinbase and the GDAX with buy and sell orders, thinning the liquidity but obtaining BCH at fair prices.”
The judge answered, “Berk fails to describe the scope or content of Coinbase’s duty in anything more than broad generalities. A reader of the Complaint is thus left wondering what Coinbase should have done differently, or why the rollout of Bitcoin Cash would have gone more smoothly had Coinbase done whatever Berk thinks is appropriate,” leaving open one exception which gives Berk three weeks to appeal.
Half of Crypto News Sites Polled are Lying to You
Today’s DAILY SPICE theme might be “pretending,” as in we’re going to pretend insider trading is something that is wrong and doesn’t go on as a matter course; and, it seems we’re going to also push along the fiction of media impartiality, objectivity.
Breaker, a hipster blockchain-focused, Brooklyn, New York based online longer form crypto news site commissioned a fun and interesting piece. “We Asked Crypto News Outlets If They’d Take Money to Cover a Project. More Than Half Said Yes” is the very descriptive title. Corin Faife posed as a Russian public relations shill, looking to place content on sites such as CoinSpice (we were not targeted), masked as straight news.
Turns out even some of the larger, more well known sites were eager for cash ahead of principle. That’s foul, for sure. But is it really all that different from what goes on at Breaker? How many investigative, gritty, hipster stories have they published on Joseph Lubin and his SingularDTV? ConsenSys? Ethereum? The online crypto literary, hair down journalism site “is an editorially independent digital magazine owned by SingularDTV.” That’s buried deep on a bottom page. There’s no mention of ConsenSys, which owns SingularDTV. No mention of Joseph Lubin nor Ethereum. Hmmmmm.
CoinSpice could run its own “investigation” of how Breaker is pumping SingularDTV projects such as the forthcoming documentary Trust Machine. Curiously, those facts never make the Breaker article. Instead, there’s a fair amount of couch fainting, pretending at outrage.
The astonishing takeaway? “Of the 22 outlets who replied conclusively, 12 of them—more than half the total—were willing to publish paid content without disclosing it as such,” the article asserts. That’s about right I am guessing most would nod. About half of everything put out in the cryptosphere is pure PR. Probably more.
But let us not be babies or pouting progressives about the matter. Understand not every online news group can have the luxury Breaker does of being bankrolled by one of the founders of Ethereum. Other sites have to gain revenue where they’re able, and perhaps the real import is for readers to practice vigilance rather than, again, pretending something is suddenly amiss or particular to crypto. Please. Grow up. That written, it is a compelling article and worth reading. Just realize its context is in the spirit of competition rather than the subtle evolved morality throughout the piece.
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