Kraken In Advanced Stage of SEC Probe Over Unregistered Securities Offering
According to a report from Wednesday, the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is in the advanced stages of an SEC probe into alleged unregistered securities offering. The investigation reportedly may lead to a settlement in the next few days.
SEC is Probing Kraken Crypto Exchange
The cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is reportedly being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The probe is centered on possible breaches of security rules in certain offerings to US clients. The investigation is allegedly in advanced stages and could lead to a settlement in the near future.
While it is currently unclear which of Kraken’s offerings are currently under SEC scrutiny, it is important to note that the Commission’s Chair Gary Gensler previously expressed his belief that most cryptocurrencies fall under his agency’s jurisdiction. It is also important to note that the probe isn’t guaranteed to lead to an enforcement action despite allegedly being in advanced stages.
Kraken found itself with US authorities in late 2022. Last November, the exchange agreed to pay more than $360,000 and invest another $100,000 to boost its compliance controls after OFAC alleged it had allowed persons in “Iran and elsewhere” thus violating sanctions placed on the country.
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SEC Names Crypto As One of Its Top Priorities in 2023
Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations published its list of priorities for 2023. Cryptocurrencies found themselves as one of the SEC’s top six focus areas for this year with a special focus on compliance and marketing. The Commission has actively been cracking down on digital asset companies over alleged violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and has been dubbed a “shakedown authority” by one US lawmaker for its efforts.
The SEC’s decision to focus on digital assets is in line with a roadmap published by the Biden administration early in 2023. The document commends the SEC and the CFTC for their efforts to reign in the cryptocurrency sector and calls on Congress to step up its efforts and provide clearer guidelines for the watchdogs to regulate the emerging sector.
In September 2022, the White House made its first step in directing policy pertaining to digital assets within the US when it released its first-ever framework on the matter. US lawmakers have also been actively discussing the sector, particularly in the wake of the collapse of the world’s former second-largest cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
What could be the ramifications of an SEC enforcement action against Kraken? Tell us what you think in the comments below.