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Market Manipulation

With the superficial attitudes of commentators on all sides of the media divide pushing risk and compliance professionals in the direction of their fashion-driven topics, it's useful to remind readers that while they are focussed on the next big thing, past big things remain a threat. Pump and dump is an example of market manipulation and, of course, a predicate crime for money laundering or, even, funding future crime including, possible, terrorist activity. What is even more surprising is that the same names crop up repeatedly but they never go to jail.

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It's now clear: posting message on social media such as twitter, facebook and instagram is regarded by the USA's Securities and Exchange Commission in the same light as any other statement and the consequences for false or misleading information are the same as any other means of disseminating such information. Elon Musk, hardly a shrinking violet when it comes to grabbing headlines for his various ventures, is the defendant in a civil action brought by the SEC: what happens here will define both how corporations use social media and whether others who have posted material they should not have done will be brought to book.

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How many tags can we add to this article? LexTech (as in legal technology)?, LegalTech? FinTech, contracting? Cloudflare? DNS Laundering? ICO? Regulation? If nothing else, the story is a warning to regulators to stop and think: are they really doing it right or just being swept along on a wave of other people's self-interest and enthusiasm?

Confido described itself as "using smart contracts with a unique shipment tracking feature." The idea was that it would become a trusted third party (remember that term from the early days of internet payments? It's still useful) as, in effect, an escrow holder. In fact, what the company was offering was far more prosaic:

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