Regulators, law enforcement crack down on crypto’s bad actors; Congress yet to


Estimated read time: 5-6
minutes

WASHINGTON — While the scandals in the cryptocurrency industry seem to never end, Washington policymakers appear to have little interest in pushing through legislation to codify the structure of the industry.

The latest shoe to drop is Binance’s multibillion-dollar settlement with U.S. authorities and the resignation of its CEO this week. Before that came the conviction of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for stealing billions from customers and the implosion of smaller crypto companies that cost investors large sums of money.

When cryptocurrencies collapsed and a number of companies failed last year, Congress considered multiple approaches for how to regulate the industry in the future. However, most of those efforts have gone nowhere, especially in this chaotic year that has been dominated by geopolitical tensions, inflation and the upcoming 2024 election.

In fact, the appetite for new rules seems more diminished than ever.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said plainly Tuesday that there is no need for new cryptocurrency rules at a news conference announcing the $4 billion settlement with Binance: “I think today’s actions show that we are serious about enforcing strong regulations that are already in place to make sure that illegal transactions are not fostered by by cryptocurrency entities,” she said.

And a group of more than 100 mostly Democrat lawmakers in October said the responsibility for preventing the use of crypto to finance terrorism belongs to the White House, calling for the Biden Administration to act.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony related to his failure to prevent money laundering on the platform. Zhao stepped down and Binance admitted to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and apparent violations of sanctions programs, including its failure to implement reporting programs for suspicious transactions.

As part of the settlement agreement, the U.S. Treasury said Binance will be subject to five years of monitoring and “significant compliance undertakings, including to ensure Binance’s complete exit from the United States.” Binance is a Cayman Islands limited liability company.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland called the settlement one of the largest corporate penalties in the nation’s history.

Now the largest entities in crypto over the past couple of years — Binance, Coinbase and FTX — are either in severe legal trouble, under investigation or have collapsed altogether.

Without Congress, federal regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission have stepped in to take their own enforcement actions against the industry, including the filing of lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance and Kraken, three of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. Kraken was charged by the SEC this week with operating its crypto trading platform as an unregistered securities exchange.

Additionally, PayPal received a subpoena from the SEC related to its PayPal USD stablecoin, the company said in a filing with securities regulators this month. The firm says it’s cooperating with authorities.

Some…



Read More: Regulators, law enforcement crack down on crypto’s bad actors; Congress yet to

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Live News