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The self-regulatory organization FINRA and the North American Securities Administrators Association have issued investor alarms about bitcoin.177178
An official investigation into bitcoin traders has been 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 Dealers in the U.S., the U.K, South Korea, and possibly other countries are being investigated. Brett Redfearn, head of the U.S.
The U.S. federal investigation was motivated 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 first shipping date in January 2018, the CME requested extensive detailed trading information but several of those exchanges refused to provide it and later provided only limited information.
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Academic study published in the Journal of Monetary Economics concluded that price manipulation occurred during the Mt Gox bitcoin theft and the market remains vulnerable to manipulation.186 The history of hacks, fraud and theft involving bitcoin dates back to at least 2011.187
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Research by John M. Griffin and Amin Shams in 2018 suggests that trading associated with increases in the amount of the Tether cryptocurrency and related trading in the Bitfinex exchange account for about half of the purchase price increase in bitcoin in late 2017.188189
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The Economist wrote in 2015 these criticisms are unfair, predominantly because the unethical image may compel users to overlook the capacities of the blockchain technology, but also due to 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 of New York University called bitcoin that 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 views, as have business executives such as Jamie Dimon and Jack Ma.204.
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 facilities, the combined power consumption would be 166.7 megawatts (1.46 terawatt-hours per year).133
At the end of 2017, the worldwide bitcoin mining activity has been estimated to consume between one and four gigawatts of electricity.205 Politico noted that the even high-end quotes of bitcoin's total consumption levels amount to only about 6 percent of the entire energy consumed by the international banking sector, and even when bitcoin's consumption Homepage levels increased 100 fold from the current degrees, bitcoin's consumption would my response still only amount to approximately 2% of international electricity consumption.206.
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To lower the expenses, bitcoin miners have put up in areas like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic atmosphere is liberated.207 Bitcoin miners are known to use hydroelectric power in Tibet, Quebec, Washington (state), and Austria to reduce electricity prices.206208209210 Miners are attracted to providers such as Hydro Quebec who have energy surpluses.211 According to a University of Cambridge study, a lot of bitcoin mining is done in China, where electricity has been subsidized by the government.212213.
Various journalists,207214 economists,215216 and the central bank of Estonia217 have voiced concerns which bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. In 2013, Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, stated that"a real Ponzi scheme takes fraud; bitcoin, by contrast, seems more like a collective delusion. "218 A 2014 report by the World Bank concluded that bitcoin was not a willful Ponzi scheme.219:7 The Swiss Federal Council220:21 examined the concerns that bitcoin may be a pyramid scheme; it concluded that,"Since in the example of bitcoin the typical guarantees of profits are lacking, it cannot be presumed that bitcoin is a pyramid scheme" In July 2017, billionaire Howard Marks referred to bitcoin as a pyramid scheme.221.