The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been vigilant in regulating the cryptocurrency sector. A recent report shows that since 2013, the commission has issued around $2.35 billion worth of penalties against players in the digital asset sector.
The report released by Cornerstone research on January 19 is titled “SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement: 2021 Update.”
SEC issues penalties worth $2.35B
The report by the SEC noted that the regulatory had imposed 97 enforcement actions valued at $2.35 billion. These penalties were issued between 2013 and the end of 2021. Out of the 97, 58 were litigations, while 39 were administrative proceedings.
Litigation cases raised $1.71 billion, while $640 million was charged during administrative proceedings. The research adds that the largest percentage of the charges were ranked as “firm respondents only.” These raked in $1.86 billion, while charges to individual respondents stood at $490 million.
The SEC issued its first crypto monetary penalty in July 2013. However, the Cornerstone Research notes that these penalties started to pick up in 2017. Between 2013 and 2017, only six crypto cases were filed with the SEC.
۲۰ enforcement actions were filed in 2021, with the report stating, “of the 20 enforcement actions brought in2021, 65% alleged fraud, 80% alleged unregistered security offering violation, and 55% alleged both.”
Enforcement actions increase during Gensler’s tenure
The author of the Cornerstone Research, Simona Mola, noted that the crackdown by the SEC on digital asset services has spiked with the appointment of Gary Gensler in early 2021 as the SEC chair. The author noted that enforcement actions by the commission were “notable high” between May and September.
The author stated, “The SEC brought some first-of-a-kind actions against a crypto lending platform, an unregistered digital asset exchange, and a decentralized finance (DeFi) lender. It also imposed one of the largest monetary penalties we have seen in an ICO-related enforcement action after Telegram.”
The vice president of Cornerstone Research, Abe Chernin, added that the SEC’s tough stance on crypto would continue in 2022. Chernin noted that more scrutiny could be witnessed in various areas, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.
The SEC is paying more focus towards the crypto sector. Towards the end of 2021, the commission appointed Corey Frayer as a new member. Frayer will be tasked with advising the commission in matters to do with cryptocurrencies. Frayer’s appointment comes amid speculation that Elad Roisman would be resigning as a board member.
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