DeFi

SEC's Crypto Enforcement Chief Vows to Continue Crackdown on Exchanges and DeFi

Hirsch emphasized that the SEC is prepared to bring charges against entities similar to Coinbase and Binance, indicating a growing list of firms under scrutiny.

Summary

  • The SEC is prepared to bring charges against crypto exchanges and DeFi projects that may be violating securities laws.
  • The SEC is particularly interested in intermediaries, such as brokers, dealers, exchanges, and clearing agencies, that fail to meet regulatory obligations.

In a stern warning to the crypto industry, David Hirsch, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, has declared that the agency is far from finished in its pursuit of crypto exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects that may be violating securities laws.

Hirsch made these remarks at the Securities Enforcement Forum Central in Chicago, emphasizing that the SEC is prepared to bring charges against those involved in activities similar to Coinbase Inc. and Binance. He stated, "We're going to continue to bring those charges," hinting at a growing list of firms on the SEC's radar.

While the SEC's recent legal battles, such as the Ripple case, have garnered attention, Hirsch stressed that the agency's interest in the crypto space extends beyond high-profile exchanges. "We're going to continue to be active as to intermediaries," he said, targeting brokers, dealers, exchanges, clearing agencies, and others within their jurisdiction who fail to meet regulatory obligations.

Notably, DeFi projects are also in the SEC's crosshairs. Hirsch asserted, "Adding the label of DeFi is not going to deter us from continuing our work."

Traditionally, the SEC has preferred negotiated settlements with regulated firms. However, due to the existential threats posed by charges against crypto companies, litigation is often the outcome. Hirsch acknowledged the limitations of the SEC's resources and the sheer number of tokens and platforms in the crypto space, highlighting the agency's challenge.

While Hirsch's message sent a clear signal to the crypto industry, it also underscored the SEC's determination to maintain regulatory oversight, leaving crypto exchanges and DeFi projects with no room for complacency.

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