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Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC has filed a $150 million lawsuit against crypto derivatives exchanges FTX and trading firm Alameda Research LLC—which shares its CEO with FTX. The lawsuit, filed Sunday and amended Monday, alleges that the CEO and multiple employees twice unsuccessfully tried to manipulate Bitcoin prices on cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
“Both times, defendants, and each of them, were caught by Binance’s market surveillance functionality and their manipulation attempts were thwarted,” says the lawsuit.
On September 16, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, shamed the culprits—”a market maker from a smaller futures exchange”—for trying to manipulate the exchange. The attempt was unsuccessful: “Only the attacker lost a bunch of money,” he tweeted.
Later that same day, Zhao tweeted that he “Had a chat with the client. It was an accident, due to a bad parameter on their side. Not intentional. All good now.”
But, of course, it wasn’t all good: the lawsuit, according to Law360, also alleges that FTX, and those affiliated with the firm, have used “multiple brokerage accounts to carry out a variety of illicit manipulation tactics on the Bitcoin spot and futures markets.”
It also alleges that FTX and Alameda’s OTC desk have been operating as an unlicensed money transmitter, the magnitude of which is “truly staggering.”
Alameda Research has denied the allegations, and referred to the lawsuit as a “nuisance suit,” “riddled with laughable inaccuracies, including mistaking the entire business model of Alameda.”
“The troll has no evidence of any wrongdoing, and will not further discover any—because there was no wrongdoing to discover evidence of.”
Binance declined to comment.