on 15th March, Bloomberg BNA reported that Stephanie Avakian (Enforcement Division Co-Director) of US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has confirmed that “dozens” of investigations have been conducted by the agency in the cryptocurrency space.
It was reported in February that subpoenas have been sent by SEC to companies, that are suspected of having trouble with the security laws through their contribution in the ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). The comment of Avakain follows these press reports as she said;
“We are very active, and I would just expect to see more and more.”
Statement Released by Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC)
A statement was released by SEC on 7th March, prompting cryptocurrency trading platforms that they are under the control of the SEC as it monitors them and as an outcome, it must register as exchanges. It’s already clear that SEC holds the main responsibility for proposing securities rules, enforcing federal securities laws, regulating the securities industry, and other actions, which includes the electronic securities markets. SEC supervision ended up as three different companies were suspended from trading due to queries related to the cryptocurrency.
What has SEC done against the crypto-related companies?
Over the past few years, the SEC has taken more steps against cryptocurrency companies that it was seeing as flaunting securities laws. Bloomberg also reported that since September 2017, many actions have been taken by the commission against companies.
On 14th March, Mike Lempres (Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Coinbase) has highlighted in a testimony (before Congress) that the major financial regulatory organizations haven’t agreed on the nature of cryptocurrency. In the US, the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies still remains unclear.
For SEC, it is a security, while the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) deliberates tokens as a commodity. If we talk about the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), it considers tokens to be property, while tokens are considered as currency for FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network).