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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued warnings. A May 2014"Investor Alert" warned that investments involving bitcoin might have high rates of fraud, and that investors may be solicited on social media sites.175 An earlier"Investor Alert" warned about the use of bitcoin in Ponzi schemes.176

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The European Banking Authority issued a warning in 2013 focusing on the lack of regulation of bitcoin, the chance which exchanges would be hacked, the volatility of bitcoin's cost, and general fraud.148

The self-regulatory organization FINRA and the North American Securities Administrators Association have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.177178

An official investigation into bitcoin dealers was reported in May 2018. The U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into possible price manipulation, including the techniques of spoofing and scrub transactions.180181182 Dealers in the U.S., the U.K, South Korea, and maybe other countries are being investigated. Brett Redfearn, head of the U.S.

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The U.S. national investigation was prompted by concerns of possible manipulation during futures settlement dates. The final settlement price of CME bitcoin futures is determined by prices on four exchanges, Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken. Following the initial shipping date in January 2018, the CME requested extensive detailed trading information but a few of those exchanges refused to supply it and later provided only limited information.

State and provincial securities authorities, coordinated through the North American Securities Administrators Association, are investigating"bitcoin scams" and ICOs in 40 jurisdictions.185

Academic research published in the Journal of Monetary Economics concluded that price manipulation happened during the Mt Gox bitcoin theft and the marketplace remains vulnerable to manipulation.186 The background of hacks, fraud and fraud involving bitcoin dates back to at least 2011.187

Research by John M. Griffin and Amin Shams in 2018 indicates that trading related to increases in the amount of the Tether cryptocurrency and related trading at the Bitfinex exchange account for about half of the price increase in bitcoin in overdue 2017.188189

J.L. van der Velde, CEO of Bitfinex and Tether, denied the claims of price manipulation:"Bitfinex nor Tether is, or has ever, engaged in any kind of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the amount of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex. "190

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The Bank for International Settlements outlined several criticisms of bitcoin in Chapter V of their 2018 annual report. The criticisms include the absence of equilibrium in bitcoin's price, the high energy consumption, high and variable transactions costs, the bad security and fraud at cryptocurrency exchanges, vulnerability to debasement (from forking), and the influence of miners.191192193.

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The Economist wrote in 2015 these criticisms are unfair, predominantly since the shady image may induce users to forget the capabilities of the blockchain technology, but also on account of the fact that the volatility read this article of bitcoin is changing in time.194

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been identified as economic bubbles by eight Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureates, including Robert Shiller,195 Joseph Stiglitz,196 and Richard Thaler.19713 Noted Keyensian economist Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times column criticizing bitcoin, calling it a bubble and a fraud;198 and professor Nouriel Roubini of New York University called bitcoin that the"mother of all bubbles. "199 Central bankers, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan,200 investors such as Warren Buffett,201202 and George Soros203 have said similar opinions, as have business executives like Jamie Dimon and Jack Ma.204.

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Bitcoin has been criticized for the amount of electricity consumed by mining. As of 2015update, The Economist estimated that even if all miners utilized modern amenities, the combined electricity consumption would be 166.7 megawatts (1.46 terawatt-hours annually ).133

At the end of 2017, the worldwide bitcoin mining activity has been estimated to consume between one and four gigawatts of electricity.205 Politico noted that the even high-end estimates of bitcoin's total consumption levels amount to only about 6% of the entire power consumed by the global banking industry, and even when bitcoin's consumption levels increased 100 fold from the current degrees, bitcoin's consumption would still only amount to about 2% of international power consumption.206.

To reduce the costs, bitcoin miners have set up in areas like Iceland where geothermal energy is economical and cooling Arctic atmosphere is free.207 Bitcoin miners are known to use hydroelectric power in Tibet, Quebec, Washington (state), and Austria to reduce electricity costs.206208209210 Miners are drawn to providers such as Hydro Quebec who have energy surpluses.211 According to a University of Cambridge study, a lot of bitcoin mining is done in China, where electricity has been subsidized by the government.212213.

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