The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has accused cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare and its executives of market manipulation representing approximately ninety percent of the platform’s trading volume.
According to a statement of allegations published by the OSC, the Canadian regulator has accused the Toronto-based Coinsquare of having “engaged in market manipulation through the reporting of inflated trading volumes.” In addition to the exchange, Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond, President and Founder Virgile Rostand and Chief Compliance Officer Felix Mazer were also named.
The OSC statement claims that Coinsquare “misled” clients about the exchange’s trading volume and took “reprisal against an internal whistleblower.” Rostand allegedly created and implemented an algorithm in July 2018, at the direction of CEO Diamond, to “inflate the trading volumes reported on the Coinsquare Platform.”
Between July 17, 2018, and December 4, 2019, the Market Volume Function resulted in approximately 840,000 wash trades on the Coinsquare platform, with an aggregate value of approximately 590,000 bitcoins. The wash trades represented over 90% of the trading volume on the Coinsquare platform during this period.
The OSC statement claims Coinsquare concealed its trading practice from the Canadian regulator and engaged in activities “contrary to the public interest.”