- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against The Hydrogen and market maker Moonwalkers for market manipulation.
- Two executives from the firms perpetrated a scheme to manipulate the trading volume and price of crypto asset "Hydro".
- Crypto adoption has been negatively influenced by the SEC’s crackdown both on The Hydrogen and in the ongoing Ripple case.
US financial watchdog, the US Securities and Exchange Commission continued its regulation by enforcement, this time by filing charges against The Hydrogen Technology Corp and associated market maker Moonwalker Trading. The SEC has accused these entities of conducting false transactions and violating securities laws.
SEC charged The Hydrogen Technology Corp for market manipulation
The Hydrogen Technology Corp. and its former CEO Michael Ross Kane, and Tyler Ostern, the CEO of Moonwalkers Trading Limited, a market making firm, have been charged for market manipulation of crypto asset securities, and their role in the unregistered sale of Hydro.
The SEC believes these two executives and their firms have perpetrated a scheme to manipulate the trading volume and price of “Hydro,” a crypto asset security. The unlawful scheme is believed to have yielded more than $2 million for Hydrogen.
The regulator alleges that starting in January 2018, Hydrogen’s CEO Kane created its Hydro token and then publicly distributed the token through various methods. These included an “airdrop'', essentially giving away Hydro to the public; bounty programs, which paid the token to individuals in exchange for promoting it; employee compensation; and direct sales on crypto asset trading platforms.
Moonwalkers, a market-making firm, was then deployed in October 2018 to create the false appearance of robust market activity for Hydro by using its customized trading software or “bot” and selling Hydro into an artificially inflated market, in order to profit on Hydrogen’s behalf. The NY-based tech firm allegedly reaped profits of more than $2 million due to their activities.
SEC’s regulation by enforcement continues
The crypto community has heavily criticized the regulator’s lawsuit against Ripple. The SEC has actively pursued ICOs since 2017; however, crypto proponents considered airdrops exempt from securities laws. The SEC refers to digital assets or cryptocurrencies as securities based on the Howey Test, a requirement that money is invested in the asset.
The SEC’s moves against Ripple since December 2020 have resulted in a prolonged legal battle. While crypto proponents and influencers believe that Ripple is close to a settlement or a win in the lawsuit, the SEC has held its ground, and both parties are now awaiting the verdict of Judge Analisa Torres in Q1 2023.
Despite the SEC’s crackdown on The Hydrogen Tech Corp, HYDRO has yielded nearly 2% gains overnight. At the time of writing, HYDRO is changing hands at $0.00037.
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