SEC Advises Investors to ‘Exercise Caution’ When Dealing With Crypto Asset Securities

Following recent enforcement action against various crypto entities and celebrities, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an advisory notice to investors telling them to be cautious of risks associated with crypto asset securities. The U.S. securities regulator insists that specific entities offering crypto asset investments or services “may not be complying with applicable law, including federal securities laws.”

Securities Watchdog Warns of Risks Associated With Crypto Asset Securities Amid Recent Enforcement Action

On March 23, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published an “Investor Alert” that claims investors should “exercise caution” when dealing with “crypto asset securities.” Essentially, the SEC explains that if someone is to consider investing in a crypto asset they should know that cryptocurrencies can be “exceptionally volatile and speculative, and the platforms where investors buy, sell, borrow or lend these securities may lack important protections for investors.”

The SEC also discusses how crypto businesses like exchanges leverage the proof-of-reserves (POR) method of transparency and downplays the method. The regulator insists POR methods “may only provide a snapshot” of a point in time and proof-of-reserves may not show liabilities or the “use of customer crypto assets in crypto asset lending.” Further, the SEC emphasized that POR snapshots can be taken but it does “not offer protection against the entity moving customer assets.”

“In addition, a proof-of-reserves is not as rigorous, or as comprehensive, as a financial statement audit and may not provide any level of assurance,” the SEC details.

The SEC’s advisory notice follows the regulator’s recent lawsuit against Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon, Tron’s Justin Sun, and the agency also sent a Wells Notice to Coinbase. The regulator has recently charged a number of celebrities, too, including socialite Kim Kardashian, NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce, actress Lindsay Lohan, and Youtuber Jake Paul.

‘So-Called Crypto Exchanges’ Commingle Operations That Many SEC Registered Organizations Handle

In the investor alert, SEC explains that “so-called crypto exchanges” are unlike SEC-registered entities and they offer a combination of services that are “typically performed by separate firms that may each be required to be separately registered with the SEC, a state regulator or a [self-regulatory organization].” The regulator notes that the commingling of such operations “creates conflicts of interest and risks for investors.”

The SEC further mentions that over the last 12 months, the crypto industry has seen major firms go insolvent and it’s been “exceptionally volatile” in the crypto space. “Fraudsters continue to exploit the rising popularity of crypto assets to lure retail investors into scams, often leading to devastating losses,” the agency added. The regulator’s advisory notice also follows SEC chair Gary Gensler expressing his opinions during an interview with New York Magazine’s Intelligencer.

In the interview, Gensler explained why he considers all crypto assets other than bitcoin (BTC) as securities. Furthermore, New York attorney general Letitia James recently declared ethereum (ETH) a security in a lawsuit against the crypto exchange Kucoin.

However, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rostin Behnam, has insisted that ethereum is a commodity. Behnam’s statements addressed Gensler’s Intelligencer interview, and Ripple’s chief legal officer recently said Gensler’s Intelligencer commentary could “recuse himself from voting on any enforcement case.”

What do you think about the SEC’s latest advisory notice on crypto asset securities? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

from Bitcoin News
SEC Advises Investors to ‘Exercise Caution’ When Dealing With Crypto Asset Securities SEC Advises Investors to ‘Exercise Caution’ When Dealing With Crypto Asset Securities Reviewed by asus on March 24, 2023 Rating: 5

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