SEC Crypto Enforcement Actions Reach 10-year High
24 Jan, 2024 ● Crypto people
In 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated 46 enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies, a significant increase from the number in 2021.
A Jan. 24 report by Cornerstone Research revealed that these enforcement actions marked a record since 2013, indicating the SEC's heightened focus on digital currencies.
The report highlighted that the SEC collected $281 million in monetary penalties and significantly increased the number of administrative proceedings compared to 2022.
Simona Mola of Cornerstone, who authored the report, cited Chair Gensler's view of enforcement as a means to an end, noting a substantial rise in SEC actions in the crypto sector over the past two years.
Cornerstone's findings also showed that under Chair Gary Gensler, who was confirmed in 2021, the SEC's crypto enforcement activities rose by 50% in 2022 and over 53% in 2023.
This included actions against nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and initial coin offerings.
About half of the 108 litigation cases since 2013 have been settled in court, with major ongoing cases against prominent exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, Terraform Labs, Ripple, and Kraken.
Gensler has faced criticism for his "regulation by enforcement" approach in the crypto space, lacking a clear regulatory framework.
Before action against Coinbase, the exchange had numerous meetings with the SEC without receiving clear guidance.
Despite the rise in enforcement, the SEC authorized the listing of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for the first time on Jan. 10. Gensler emphasized that this approval did not equate to endorsing Bitcoin.