WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A New Jersey-based bitcoin swap trading platform was sanctioned by U.S. derivatives regulators on Thursday after it allegedly facilitated illegal wash trades and then misled U.S. regulators both through press releases and at a government-sponsored public meeting.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said TerraExchange LLC pre-arranged the sale of a swap that derived its value from bitcoins for trading last October, in an effort to test its systems.
There were only two buyers authorized to trade it, and they each bought the swap for the same size and amount, effectively offsetting each other in what is known as an illegal "wash trade."
Later, however, the trading platform attended a CFTC advisory committee meeting where it announced the trade was evidence of actual market interest, without disclosing the trade was pre-arranged.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Eric Walsh