The SEC has initiated legal actions against multiple crypto entities to address potential violations of securities laws and protect investors. As the deadlines for some of them draw near, let’s recall which are expected to end.
Gary Gensler’s SEC has taken legal actions against countless crypto-focused business entities to ensure compliance with its securities laws, aiming to bring the tokens of these projects under its securities umbrella.
The SEC claims its actions protect investors from falling victim to potential fraud. US regulator aims to foster stability in the cryptocurrency industry by enforcing compliance and cracking down on deceptive behavior. However, market participants see the regulator’s efforts as harsh and draconian.
SEC vs. Ripple
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its current and previous CEOs in 2020, alleging they held an initial public offering (IPO) of XRP, which the regulator treats as an unregistered security.
The ongoing legal showdown between the two has captivated the crypto industry, as both sides eagerly await a critical ruling from Judge Torres.
This much-anticipated ruling focuses on the cross-motions for summary judgment, where the fate of regulatory clarity and the question of secondary sales of XRP hang in the balance.
Attorney John Deaton has explained the reasons behind the delay by Judge Torres on Ripple’s case and predicted that they might make a final decision on the lawsuit before the end of 2023.
SEC vs. Bittrex
The SEC has taken legal action against Bittrex and its former CEO William Shihara. The charges accuse them of operating an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency.
Bittrex had filed for bankruptcy protection on May 8, three weeks after the SEC accused it of operating an unregistered securities exchange.
The company has until June 30, 2023, to file a motion to dismiss the SEC’s charges against it. The complaint alleges that Bittrex facilitated the buying and selling crypto assets that the SEC alleges were offered and sold as securities since at least 2014.
SEC vs. Genesis & Gemini
The SEC alleges that the Gemini Earn program constitutes an offer and sale of securities under applicable law and should have been registered. The regulator alleges that Gemini and Genesis raised billions of dollars worth of crypto assets from hundreds of thousands of investors through this unregistered offering.
Gemini and Genesis have filed a motion to dismiss the SEC’s charges.
The companies are also accused of bypassing disclosure requirements designed to protect investors. The deadline for SEC to respond to the motion to dismiss is July 21, 2023.
SEC vs. Binance
Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, have been slapped with several charges by the SEC, including allegations of lying to regulators about its operations.
The SEC alleges that Binance and BAM Trading, which operates the Binance.US platform, operated without registering. Moreover, the regulator insists Zhao and Binance secretly allowed high-value US customers to trade on the website. The SEC also alleges that Binance mixed billions of dollars in customer funds and secretly sent them to a separate company controlled by Zhao.
Binance and BAM Trading have filed several motions in opposition to the lawsuit. The deadline for SEC to respond to the motion to dismiss is September 21, 2023.
SEC vs. FTX
San Bankman-Fried’s FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US on November 11, 2022. The company was valued at $32 billion a year ago and had over one million users.
The bankruptcy filing was caused by a liquidity crisis of the company’s token, FTT. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of FTX, stepped down as CEO and was succeeded by John J. Ray III.
FTX’s bankruptcy has caused uncertainty in the crypto industry, raising concerns about the market’s stability. The deadline for FTX to submit proof of customer claims is September 29, 2023.
SEC vs. Coinbase
Coinbase has been under examination by the SEC for its Lend program, which the SEC says is an unregistered securities offering.
Coinbase has been actively communicating with the regulator for over six months regarding the Lend program. However, the SEC has not explained its intention to file a lawsuit.
In response to legal warnings from the SEC, Coinbase has decided to cancel the launch of the Lend program.
The exchange’s deadline to report to the court the status of the consideration of its petition for rulemaking is October 11, 2023.
HODL Law vs. SEC & Ethereum
Hodl Law has sued the SEC, asking the court to declare that ether (ETH) and the Ethereum Network are not securities. The SEC has filed a motion to dismiss the suit, and the case is currently waiting for a ruling on the SEC’s motion to dismiss; and also filed a suit to convert $GBTC to an ETF.
The case is still awaiting a decision from the D.C. Court of Appeals. The judges put tough questions to the SEC at oral argument.