If you have paid casual attention to crypto news over the past few years, you probably have a sense that the crypto market is unregulated—a tech-driven Wild West in which the rules of traditional finance do not apply.
If you were Ishan Wahi, however, you would probably not have that sense.
Wahi worked at Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, where he had a view into which tokens the platform planned to list for trading—an event that causes those assets to spike in value. According to the US Department of Justice, Wahi used that knowledge to buy those assets before the listings, then sell them for big profits. In July, the DOJ announced that it had indicted Wahi, along with two associates, in what it billed as the “first ever cryptocurrency insider trading tipping scheme.” If convicted, the defendants could face decades in federal prison.