Former Coinbase Employee Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

• Former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading.
• He is set to be sentenced in May of 2023.
• This is the first case of its kind involving cryptocurrency markets.

Former Coinbase Employee Pleads Guilty

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase, has pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to an insider trading scheme. This marks the first time such a crime has been reported within the cryptocurrency markets and Wahi will be sentenced in May 2023.

The Scheme

The scheme began more than two years ago in October 2020 and involved Wahi providing his brother Nikhil and a friend with information regarding which tokens were set to be listed on Coinbase prior to them being made available publicly. Once the prices rose upon their listing, they then sold off their assets for personal profit. In January 2021, Nikhil was ordered to pay a financial penalty of almost $900,000 as well as serve 10 months in prison for his part in the crime.

U.S Attorney’s Statement

U.S Attorney Damian Williams said in response: “Wahi is the first insider to admit guilt in an insider trading case involving the cryptocurrency markets… stealing confidential business information for your own personal profit or the profit of others is a serious federal crime”

Coinbase’s Struggles

Coinbase has had quite the run-in with legal issues lately and this latest news regarding insider trading only adds fuel to its ever-growing fire. The exchange is currently facing various lawsuits from users who allege it allowed its employees to engage in unauthorized crypto trades using their accounts while also participating in its own IPO without revealing all necessary information about it beforehand – something that could potentially have dire consequences if found true by regulators down the line.


Ishan Wahi’s guilty plea – along with his brother’s conviction – are evidence that illegal activities within crypto markets will not go unpunished by authorities and those who attempt such tactics should think twice before doing so or face potential criminal charges if caught.