Crypto regulation in the world: weekly digest #37
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today issued a press-release announcing charges against Tron’s Founder Justin Sun and three of companies, Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd., and Rainberry Inc.
The SEC charges Justin Sun for the unregistered offer and sale of crypto asset securities Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), fraudulent manipulating the secondary market for TRX through extensive wash trading, and for orchestrating a scheme to pay U.S. celebrities to tout TRX and BTT without disclosing their compensation. The SEC also asserts that Justin Sun involved his employees in carrying out the simultaneous or near-simultaneous purchase and sale of a security to make it appear actively traded without an actual change in beneficial ownership.
The SEC simultaneously charged eight celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, for illegally touting TRX and/or BTT without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so and the amount of their compensation.
Justin Sun has already commented on the lawsuit on his Twitter, stating that there is no legal basis for it: «The SEC’s civil complaint earlier today is just the latest example of actions it has taken against well known players in the blockchain and crypto space. We believe the complaint lacks merit, and in the meantime will continue building the most decentralized financial system».
The SEC, in fact, has been increasing pressure on the crypto market in recent days. This week the Commission also issued crypto exchange Coinbase a Wells notice, warning the company that it identified potential violations of U.S. securities law. Coinbase shares fell nearly 12% in extended trading after the news broke on Wednesday, adding to an 8.16% drop during regular trading hours.
The crypto exchange said it asked regulators to clarify which assets on its platforms the SEC believes could be securities, but the Commission refused to do so. Coinbase described the investigation as «cursory», and said the Wells notice provided little information about potential violations.
The company believes these potential enforcement actions would relate to aspects of the exchange’s spot market, staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet.
This April the European Parliament is going to pass the landmark MiCA bill establishing the comprehensive crypto regulation for all 27 countries of the Union. Alongside with MiCA the European lawmakers has been developing a new anti-money laundering bill proposal that also includes provisions dedicated to crypto currencies.
The bill proposal has been widely discussed as it proposed that only transfers made from an EU-licensed crypto service provider would be allowed to exceed an amount equivalent to €1.000. This wording caused serious resistance from the European crypto industry. In the latest edition of the proposed bill, cash transactions would be capped at €7.000 for commercial payments, in contrast the €1.000 value cap for crypto transactions involving self-hosted wallets. The text of the bill allows for exceptions to the €7,000 cash threshold for interpersonal payments, except if they are for real estate, luxury goods, or a deposit into a financial institution.
That means that that the transaction cap applies to self-hosted addresses unless the owner of such self-hosted wallet can be identified.
Policymakers in the European Parliament will vote on the Bill on March 28.
Taiwan will pass comprehensive legal framework that will gain the local Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) rights to regulate crypto industry. The first draft of the law is expected to appear later this autumn.
Taiwan is developing comprehensive legislation to supervise cryptocurrencies due to [the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange][What happened to the FTX exchange? | TokenScope], which was very popular among the citizens of the island. Up to this point, the island has taken a neutral approach to digital currencies, obliging crypto exchanges only to comply with AML standards.
The FSC will focus on the regulation of virtual assets related to payments and trade, stablecoins, from other side, may fall under the responsibility of the local Central Bank.
News from other countries:
- The President of El Salvador, where bitcoin is recognized as official means of payment, announced the abolition of all taxes for technology companies.
- In April, Russia plans to return to developing a comprehensive legal framework for cryptocurrencies. The country is in the world’s top 10 for the adoption of cryptocurrencies and hasn't adopted a single law to regulate them.
We continue to highlight the news of the world of crypto regulation worldwide. Please stay with us!