Coinsquare’s CEO Cole Diamond and President Virgile Rostand will step down and pay a $1.6 million fine as part of an agreement with Canadian regulator the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
According to an announcement from the OSC following a July 21 hearing, Diamond and Rostand have agreed to resign from their positions at the cryptocurrency exchange and will pay around $750,000 and $670,000 in penalties, respectively. Coinsquare and the disgraced duo will also shoulder $223,000 in costs for the investigation.
The Canadian regulator said Diamond and Rostand are effectively banned from resuming management of Coinsquare for at least three years as part of the settlement and are unable to act as “registrants and directors or officers of a registrant.” Chief Compliance Officer (COO) Felix Mazer had already resigned his position and paid $37,000 to the OSC, but will have a similar ban in place for one year.
The settlement between Coinsquare, Diamond, Rostand, and Mazer comes after the Canadian regulator alleged on July 16 that the exchange had engaged in wash-trading — artificially inflating its trade volume through executing zero-fee market trades into their own orders. This practice creates the appearance of large trading activity without any assets actually changing hands and is an industry-wide problem.
“Despite several employees raising concerns about inflated trading volumes, Coinsquare not only stuck with the practice, but lied to investors about it and retaliated against a whistleblower,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of the Enforcement Branch at the OSC. “Being an innovator in our capital markets is not a free pass to disregard Ontario securities law.”
As part of its agreement with the OSC, Coinsquare has admitted that it engaged in market manipulation by reporting inflated trading volumes and made “misleading statements to conceal the wash trades.”
Between July 17, 2018 and Dec. 4, 2019, Coinsquare made roughly 840,000 wash trades with an aggregated value of 590,000 Bitcoin (BTC) — $5.5 billion at the time of writing. These trades represented more than 90% of the reported volume on the exchange.
The problem of market manipulation with these types of trades is an endemic issue in the crypto industry. According to a study by Bitwise Asset Management, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2019, as much as 95% of the crypto market volumes reported to CoinMarketCap could have been the result of wash trading. The Blockchain Transparency Institute reported in September last year that the fake volume of BTC trades was roughly 50%.
COVID-19 Bulletin #150 – news.gov.mb.ca
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Ontario adds 151K new jobs in July, majority are part-time positions – CTV Toronto
Ontario added 151,000 new jobs in July, the country’s national statistics agency said, but the majority of them were part-time positions.
After losing more than one million jobs in a three-month time span following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario added about 378,000 jobs in June. In July, employment in the province grew by 2.2 per cent.
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) released on Friday, which used the week of July 12 to 18 as a sample, said that businesses and workplaces across Canada have continued to reopen after being shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the same time, the survey was conducted while much of the province was still in Stage 2 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan.
“Although public health restrictions had been substantially eased in most parts of the country—with the exception of some regions of Ontario, including Toronto—some measures remained in place, including physical distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings,” Statistics Canada said.
Of the 151,000 jobs added in Ontario, Statistics Canada said that about 145,000 were part-time positions. The agency attributed that number to the fact that part-time workers were hit hardest by the shuttered economy months ago.
“This was due to a number of factors, including part-time work being more prevalent in industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, namely retail trade and accommodation and food services.”
Ontario’s unemployment rate has now fallen to 11.3 per cent, down from 12.2 per cent the previous month.
In Toronto, employment also rose by about 2.2 per cent, with close to 26,000 jobs added in the city. Statistics Canada says that employment in Toronto has now reached 89.9 per cent of its February, pre-COVID-19 level.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford posted a brief message on social media Friday afternoon saying he was happy to see the July labour numbers.
“What I love are the job numbers today, 150,000 people going back to work, the premier said in a video on Twitter, noting that there is still work to do to rebuild the province’s economy.
“That is great news for the people of Ontario.”
About 419,000 jobs were gained across Canada in the month of July, reducing the national unemployment rate to 10.9 per cent.
16 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Manitoba Saturday – Global News
Manitoba public health officials announced 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Saturday.
That brings the total number of cases in Manitoba to 507.
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The province said Manitoba has now performed 100,074 tests for COVID-19 with 1,263 lab tests completed on Friday. The test positivity rate for Manitoba is 1.23 per cent.
The active caseload is 148 with 351 people considered recovered.
Nine people are in hospital due to the virus with three of those in the intensive care unit. The number of deaths attributed to the virus remains unchanged at eight.
Health officials say 12 of the new cases are from the Prairie Mountain health region and four are from the Southern health-Sante Sud health region.
While case investigations are ongoing, the province says a majority of today’s cases appear to be linked to known clusters in the Brandon area or close contacts.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
COVID-19 Bulletin #150 – news.gov.mb.ca
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