Justice officials are investigating claims that the price of Bitcoin was widely manipulated last year.
Whistle-blowers have repeatedly alleged cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and coin Tether were involved.
Both businesses are under common control.
Academic John Griffin of the University of Texas and the anonymous tweeter “Bitfinex’ed” say that Bitfinex has flooded the cryptocurrency market with fake capital to drive up prices.
Bitfinex/Tether CEO JL van der Velde has denied the Griffin/Shams allegations entirely, stating, “Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of Bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex.”
The US Justice Department has confirmed an inquiry is underway, but declines to offer any further comment.
Market still in the red
The cryptocurrency market has gained a little in recent days – but the price of Bitcoin almost sank below $4,000 – dropping to $4,030 before recovering by 12%.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $4,482.91 having lost around 25% of market capitalisation in a week, taking the cap down from $112 billion to $78 billion.
Bitcoin Cash is still losing strongly after Friday’s hard fork.
Trading is down 33.25% on the day to $259.21.
The new Bitcoin Cash coins are also struggling, with Bitcoin Cash ABC down 10% to $237.47 and Bitcoin Cash SV down 18.08% to 456.08.
All major cryptocurrencies are barely keeping their heads above water after hitting 12 month lows.
Even star cryptocurrency Ripple XRP has stalled, toppling from $0.4919 to $0.4437 since the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
The only major coin in the black is Dash, trading at $112.47 – up just 1.68% on the day’s trading.
Mining is OK for political donations
The US Federal Election Commission has greenlighted supporters making political party donations by allocating them cryptomining assets.
Cryptomining corporation OsiaNetwork wants to set up a system that allows party supporters to hand over spare computer processing power to a politician who can mine for donations.
The FEC agreed contributing processing power to mine cryptocurrency to raise funds for political campaigns is OK, but is classified as a contribution rather than an act of volunteering.
“Although the proposal is permissible under the Act and Commission regulations, it does not fall within the volunteer Internet activities exception, and would result in contributions from both the individuals and OsiaNetwork to the participating political committees.,” the FEC said.