Since 2017, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been actively advocating for the regulation of cryptocurrencies, asserting its ability to supervise numerous digital tokens and the corresponding trading platforms.
As per the Wall Street Journal, digital tokens classified as securities, including stocks and bonds, are the only ones that the SEC can regulate.
SEC President Gary Gensler points out that many of them are illegally distributed because the securities can be sold to the public only if registered with the SEC and if the issuers provide financial information and disclosure of the estimated risk.
Selling securities to the general public, including cryptocurrencies, without registration makes the issuer liable for violating investor protection laws.
Since the end of 2017, the SEC and US courts have identified 76 cryptocurrencies as securities. Out of the 76, sixteen were accessible for trading on one or more leading US cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the latest SEC report, the number of such cryptocurrencies has tripled over the past year.
The report comes amid an ongoing standoff between the SEC and crypto companies, which complain that the United States lags behind other countries in digital asset rules.
Ripple’s CEO, speaking at the Dubai Finance Summit on Monday (May 8), told CNBC that other countries are overshadowing the US in the field. He added that Njerg’s company will spend about 200 million dollars defending itself in court until the resolution of the lawsuit filed by the SEC in December 2020.
On the other hand, the SEC states that at the moment, the largest crypto exchanges offer for trading at least 12 disputed cryptocurrencies, that is, those that have the “weight” of securities and that should fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction.
In 2022, the SEC launched 30 restrictive measures to control cryptocurrencies, an increase of 50 percent compared to the previous year. In the first months of 2023, the SEC issued 13 enforcement suspensions, an increase of more than 25 percent over last year’s figures.