Serial killer of crypto-companies? – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chain its attacks on the Bitcoin (BTC) sector and cryptocurrencies. Not a week goes by without the US financial regulator menace to sue crypto players. This time it’s the exchange platform Bittrex who is a victim of the mad regulator.
The SEC attacks crypto players without seeking dialogue
The regulatory straightjacket totally deleterious against crypto-assets, which is being set up in the United States, has already scared Bittrex US out of the country, at the end of March. But even after the announcement of this departure, the Securities and Exchange Commission continues to chase after Bittrex with a hammer (of judge and executioner?) in hand.
In a press release from the financial regulator published on April 17, 2023, the SEC accuse Bittrex and its former CEO (William Shihara) to have exploited “an unregistered stock exchange, broker and clearing agency” with its services. Because the Securities Commission continues to consider that almost all cryptos are securities under its jurisdiction.
“We allege that Bittrex has repeatedly chosen profits over investor protection. (…) As stated in our complaint, Bittrex’s business model was based on three things: circumventing the registration requirements of the federal securities laws; advising issuers of crypto-assets to do the same by amending their offering documents; and combine multiple market intermediary functions under one roof to maximize profits. (…)”
Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division
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Bittrex ready to fight legal action against the actions of the US financial regulator
The SEC official quoted above made it clear, in the words that follow, that this new lawsuit is also intended “to send a message” (very aggressive) to other cryptocurrency exchanges that dare not comply with the (unattainable) SEC requirements.
Of course, the Bittrex teams have no quick to react to this frontal attack. In this response, the crypto exchange denounces the expeditious methods and without any consultation work with it from the financial policeman.
“The SEC initiated these proceedings despite the fact that Bittrex Global has no US customers, has never represented itself as doing business in the United States or with US persons, and has taken pains to inform American people that they were not allowed to use his purse. (….) The SEC has issued its Preliminary Notice (the “ Wells Notice ”) to Bittrex Global less than a month ago without any prior contact with Bittrex Global. At no time has the SEC written to us requesting information or documents at any stage. The SEC filed its lawsuit without ever hearing from us in writing. »
Bittrex Response to SEC
If Bittrex declares itself “ready to work with” the SEC, it seems totally non-reciprocal. But, before attacking the entire crypto sector, this US Commission should above all start by proving the legitimacy of its jurisdiction. Indeed, since December 2020the SEC n’a still failed to prove that the XRP of Ripple can be classified with securities. After nearly 2 and a half years of litigation, it is even rather Ripple which seems to be in position favorable on this possible abuse of jurisdiction.
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