Kraken Exchange Faces SEC Investigation for Alleged Sale of Unregistered Securities – Coinpedia Fintech News

  • Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is under investigation by the SEC for offering unregistered securities to American clients.

  • The investigation is at an advanced stage and a settlement could be announced in the coming days.

Kraken, a major cryptocurrency exchange, is under investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the potential sale of unregistered securities to American clients. According to a Bloomberg report, the regulator’s probe is in an advanced stage and could result in a settlement in the near future. However, the details of the investigation remain undisclosed at this time.

This is not the first time that Kraken has faced scrutiny from regulators. In December 2022, the exchange settled a case with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over sanctions violations and paid a $362,000 penalty. In light of this, the ongoing probe from the SEC is not a positive development for the industry.

Cryptocurrency exchanges trading unregistered securities are considered a higher risk, as they are not subject to the same level of regulatory oversight as other financial instruments. Despite calls from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler for crypto platforms to register with the agency, Kraken’s incoming CEO, Dave Ripley, stated that the exchange had no plans to do so. This stance puts Kraken in the same boat as Binance, the largest crypto exchange, which has also faced repercussions for trading unregistered securities.

The crypto market experienced a brutal winter in 2022 following the collapse of institutions like FTX. This had a negative impact on many exchanges, including Kraken, which recently laid off 30% of its workforce. The head of the strategy at Kraken stated that the workforce reduction was independent of events like the FTX implosion.

If the SEC finds violations of securities laws, the outcome of the investigation could result in fines, penalties, or other punishments. The regulator’s investigation into Kraken comes as it also has an open investigation into one of the exchange’s competitors, Coinbase Global, over its token listings.

The SEC has not directly accused Coinbase of offering unregistered securities, but it did identify several tokens listed on the exchange as securities in a lawsuit as part of an insider trading case.

Kraken declined to comment on the report and the SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Regardless, the outcome of the SEC’s investigation will be closely watched by the crypto community, as it could have significant implications for the future of cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States.

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