The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued itself a report card of sorts, declaring that it had a “highly productive and impactful year” when it came to enforcement actions related to cryptocurrency and digital assets. In total, the SEC brought more than two dozen enforcement actions related to crypto assets and digital asset securities in 2023. This represented a significant increase from prior years and demonstrated the SEC’s heightened focus on policing the crypto industry. The agency filed charges against several major crypto companies and executives for alleged fraud and failure to register crypto asset offerings and exchanges. The SEC also charged crypto companies like Celsius, Kraken, Genesis and Gemini, and Nexo. Bad actors in the NFT space were on the SEC’s hit list this year, as the agency charged Impact Theory LLC and Stoner Cats 2 LLC for conducting illegal, unregistered offerings of crypto asset securities. Several celebrity endorsements of crypto projects also drew SEC scrutiny in 2023, with Kim Kardashian agreeing to pay $1.26 million to settle the charges. The cryptocurrency actions were part of an agency-wide accounting for 2023 that altogether involved 784 enforcement actions, $5 billion in financial remedies, and distributed nearly $1 billion to harmed investors.
The SEC’s report is good news for the crypto industry as it shows that the agency is taking a proactive stance in enforcing regulations and punishing bad actors. The increased scrutiny on crypto companies and celebrity endorsements is a sign that the SEC is serious about protecting investors from fraud and other misconduct.
You can read more about this topic here: Decrypt: SEC Crows Over ‘Impactful’ Crypto Enforcement Actions in 2023