The U.S. SEC has issued $2.4 billion in cryptocurrency-related fines since 2013

Time:2022-01-19 Source: 814 views Trending Copy share

According to a new report, the U.S. SEC has launched 97 actions against crypto players since 2013, with 20 in 2021 alone.

Since 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has levied about $2.35 billion in fines against participants in the digital asset market, according to a Jan. 19 report from Cornerstone Research.

The report, “U.S. SEC Enforcement of Cryptocurrencies: A 2021 Update,” found that between 2013 and the end of 2021, the U.S. SEC took a total of 97 enforcement actions worth $2.35 billion.

Of the total of 97 actions, 58 were class actions and the remaining 39 were administrative actions. Of the 2.35 billion yuan raised through litigation, 1.71 billion yuan came from litigation and 640 million yuan came from administrative litigation.

Allegations in U.S. SEC cryptocurrency lawsuit Source: Cornerstone Research

Most of those charged were "corporate respondents," accounting for $1.86 billion of the $2.35 billion total. Meanwhile, the remaining $490 million came from individual respondents.

Although the SEC first fined cryptocurrency participants in July 2013, the report noted that SEC-initiated lawsuits in the crypto space only started to increase in 2017. Between 2013 and 2017, there were only 6 crypto cases initiated by the US SEC.

The agency has filed 20 of 97 lawsuits in 2021 — 14 conduct actions and six administrative actions in U.S. federal court. Of a total of 20 enforcement actions, 70% were related to initial coin offerings (ICOs). The report states:

"Of the 20 enforcement actions launched in 2021, 65% allege fraud, 80% allege unregistered securities offering violations, and 55% allege both."

The report’s author, Simona Mola, wrote in a statement that the SEC’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrencies may be related to the appointment of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in April 2021, noting that the SEC’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrencies between the end of May and mid-September Law enforcement has "significantly increased".

“The SEC has taken some of the first actions against crypto lending platforms, unregistered digital asset exchanges, and decentralized finance (DeFi) lenders for the first time. It also imposed what we saw in ICO-related enforcement actions after Telegram. One of the biggest fines ever seen," she wrote.

"We can expect these draconian measures to continue into the new year," said Abe Chernin, vice president of Cornerstone Research.

“In 2022 we may see further scrutiny of certain market players such as DeFi platforms, given the SEC’s continued focus on this space.”

In the last week of December 2021, Gensler added a new employee, Corey Frayer, to help advise the agency on cryptocurrency regulation. Prior to this, it was reported that Elad Roisman will resign as a member of the US SEC board of directors.

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