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SEC’s Gurbir Grewal Calls Out Crypto Industry for Noncompliance

At the SEC Speaks event, Gurbir Grewal, the Enforcement Director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), delivered a scathing critique of the cryptocurrency industry, highlighting what he termed as a “significant lack of compliance.”

Grewal addressed criticisms directed at the SEC regarding its purportedly stringent regulation of the crypto sector, asserting that the agency has encountered substantial non-compliance and various attempts by market participants to evade its jurisdiction. He debunked claims of regulatory overreach, stating that the SEC is often accused of stifling innovation and driving crypto businesses toward more favorable regulatory environments abroad. Despite this, he emphasized that the crypto industry advocates for a different set of rules, creating a regulatory tug-of-war.

Moreover, Grewal expressed concern over the “predatory inclusion” tactics employed by certain crypto entities, particularly targeting Black, brown, and other marginalized communities, deeming such practices extremely troubling.

In recent years, the SEC has intensified its regulatory efforts within the cryptocurrency space. Notably, the agency has initiated criminal proceedings for fraud against prominent figures such as Terraform Labs’ Founder Do Kwon, Hex Co-Founder Richard Hart, and FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried, among others associated with collapsed exchanges.

Additionally, the SEC has taken legal action against trading platforms including Genesis, Gemini, Celsius, Nexo, and Kraken, accusing them of offering unregistered securities through lending programs or digital asset offerings. Kraken recently reached a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to pay a $30 million fine to resolve the claims.

Grewal’s remarks underscore the SEC’s commitment to enforcing compliance within the crypto industry, signaling ongoing regulatory scrutiny amid evolving market dynamics.

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