Can Elon Musk Go To Prison For Manipulating Prices And Shilling Shitcoins?

Elon Musk’s tweets have been a bone of contention for a while now. Every time the billionaire tweeted about a coin, the price of that coin skyrockets. The CEO of Tesla has been promoting coins that are fondly referred to as “shitcoins” on Twitter.

Musk has started with Doge in February when he tweeted out Doge. Then followed up with Doge is the people’s crypto. This immediately sent the price of the coin rocketing as people start buying into the coin. Elon would continue to do these with other altcoins.

One hotly debated topic is the legality of these tweets which seemed to be aimed at manipulating market prices.

5 BTC + 300 Free Spins for new players & 15 BTC + 35.000 Free Spins every month, only at mBitcasino. Play Now!

Related Reading | Ledger Scam: Scammers Mail Hacked Ledger Devices To Steal Crypto

Some people have called this a version of insider trading. But there is nothing like insider trading laws yet in the crypto space due to cryptocurrencies still being heavily unregulated. There are no laws governing market manipulation. With high volatility, digital assets are very prone to be manipulated.

This is not the first time a prominent person has used their platform to shill coins. John McAfee was notorious for shilling ICOs without disclosing he was paid to do so. Which led to his subsequent arrest in Spain.

Get 110 USDT Futures Bonus for FREE!

John McAfee’s Arrest

During the last bull market which started in 2017, ICOs were the big thing. Dozens of ICOs were being released each day and the market became saturated.

In order to get their coins in front of more eyes, the people behind the ICOs went the route of getting influential people to tweet about them. John McAfee was the obvious choice.

He alleged that he collected $105,000 to tweet about a coin or ICO. According to the SEC, McAfee made $23 million for shilling ICOs.

Bitcoin chart from

Bitcoin chart from

Bitcoin price | Source: BTCUSD on

His arrest was not directly for shilling but it was a part of it. Since there were really no laws regarding shilling, the SEC had to go the route of tax evasion. Charges of failure to disclose income from the ICOs and routing his earnings through cryptocurrency to avoid paying taxes were brought against him.

McAfee was arrested on October 5th, 2020, in Spain at the request of the SEC. He is currently being held in Spain. His extradition has not been determined yet. With McAfee claiming he would die in prison is extradited to the States.

Elon Musk’s Tweets

This is not the first time that Musk’s tweets have been a problem. Back in 2018, the SEC requested that Elon Musk be held civil contempt due to misleading facts tweeted by the CEO about his company Tesla.

The tweets included things like claiming the automaker would build 500,000 cars a year. Also claiming that he had secured funding when he hadn’t. These tweets are said to have manipulated the stock price of the company.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Mining Council: We Need To Tackle Negative Media Narratives

In response to these, Elon Musk said that his tweets were part of his right to free speech. And that he was free to tweet whatever he wished.

The ensuing lawsuit led to the outcome that the CEO would have the freedom to use Twitter, with certain limitations. His tweets that are material to shareholders need to be reviewed before being allowed to be posted.

But cryptocurrencies are not included in the list of restricted topics for the billionaire. And so, he has taken to shilling coins on his Twitter account. His latest shilling project being the coin Cumrocket which has absolutely no use case besides being a money-grab. The coin rose over 70 percent after Musk tweeted about it.

There have been no legal steps taken against Musk regarding the tweets. This being that there are no laws that can be said to have been violated at this point.

Featured image from Robb Report, chart from


Tagged : / / / / / / / /

Canadian Regulator Adds Bybit to Crypto Exchange Crackdown

In brief

  • The OSC says it reached out to Bybit in March but heard nothing.
  • A hearing is scheduled for July 15.

Bybit, one of the world’s top five crypto exchanges with $53 billion in trading volume in the last week, is in hot water with Canadian regulators—along with other prominent crypto trading platforms.

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has charged the British Virgin Islands-registered company with “operating an unregistered crypto asset trading platform, encouraging Ontarians to use the platform, and allowing Ontario residents to trade crypto asset products that are securities and derivatives.”

According to the OSC, it had requested on March 29 that Bybit contact it regarding how to bring the exchange into compliance with Ontario securities law but did not receive a reply. It’s now added Bybit to its investor warning list and set a hearing date of July 15.

At that hearing, the commission will consider OSC staff recommendations calling for Bybit to cease securities trading and be prohibited from acquiring securities “permanently or for such period as is specified by the Commission.” Staff also have recommended an administrative penalty of up to $1 million for each breach of Ontario securities law.

Earlier this month, the regulator took a similar enforcement action against another exchange, KuCoin. And last month, the OSC alleged Poloniex had not followed its registration process. Its argument is mostly the same in each instance: The exchange offers securities and derivatives to Ontario residents, meaning it must comply with the province’s securities laws.

Securities are, generally speaking, financial instruments people can buy and trade for the purpose of turning a profit. Derivatives are a type of security that get their value from an underlying asset that may or may not be a security itself. For example, commodity futures and Bitcoin futures contracts are derivatives. These allow someone to set a buy/sell price for an asset in advance; it’s a way of gambling on how much the price of an asset will increase or decrease.

Bybit is a primary investor in the Peter Thiel-backed BitDAO, which last week announced it had taken in $230 million to provide grants, liquidity, and technical expertise to decentralized finance projects. It has promised a cut of its futures contract trading to BitDAO.

Yes, but is it registered in Ontario?


Tagged : /

Bank of Israel deputy governor confirms digital shekel pilot is underway

The Bank of Israel has reportedly already issued a central bank digital currency through a pilot test of a digital shekel.

According to a Monday report from the Jerusalem Post, Bank of Israel deputy governor, Andrew Abir, said the financial institution had started to conduct a pilot program for a digital shekel. Speaking at a conference of the Fair Value Forum of IDC Herzliya, Abir added that he was not optimistic about the bank issuing a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, despite the fact he confirmed a pilot test was underway.

“I had previously estimated that the chance of having a CBDC within five years is 20%,” said Abir. “My estimate has increased a bit in the last year, mainly because other countries are advancing with it too, but still there is less than a 50% chance.”

The Bank of Israel has made no formal announcement on its website regarding the issuance of a digital shekel at the time of publication. Last month, the financial institution said it was preparing an action plan to explore the benefits of a CBDC on the Israeli economy, adding it would be prepared to do so should the benefits “outweigh the costs and potential risks.”

Related: Israel’s central bank floats possible digital shekel with new action plan

At the time, the central bank said it may consider issuing a CBDC if such meets the needs of the future digital economy and provides more efficient cross-border payments. Bank of Israel also hopes to reduce the use of cash and ensure the public can make payments with “a certain level of privacy.”

“The option for a CBDC is still being examined, and when we made our statement last month, it was not to say what we are doing, but rather to share what we do not know and receive feedback from the public,” said the deputy governor. He added that the country’s banks “will still have an important part in the entire payment system” following any potential rollout of a digital shekel.

Despite his seeming willingness to eventually integrate a CBDC in the country’s economy, Abir criticized Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of paymen:

“What we are talking about is a payment system. Bitcoin is not a payment system, and it is not a currency. In the best situation, it is a financial asset, and in the worst case, it is a pyramid scam.”

Israel’s central bank begin exploring the introduction of a CBDC four years ago with the establishment of an interdepartmental group tasked with exploring the matter. In 2018, the team recommended against the Bank of Israel issuing a digital currency, saying “no advanced economy has yet issued digital currency for broad use.”