Two trading platforms for cryptocurrencies in the United States closed deals this week to pay million dollar amounts in exchange for close investigations regulatory authorities of the capital market in the country.
Earlier in the week, the BitMEX, one of the largest cryptoactive platforms in the world, has agreed to pay $100 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the CFTC, a US government agency with functions similar to the SEC but dedicated to commodity futures contracts.
The company, which offers leveraged trading services for bitcoin and other crypto-active derivatives, was fined last year by the CFTC for failing to follow federal compliance and anti-money laundering rules. Three company founders are still defendants in other lawsuits with the agency.
BitMEX, currently based in Seychelles, has neither admitted nor denied the allegations, but has agreed to take steps to prevent US citizens from being able to access its services.
Until 2014, the company opened accounts using just an email account, without verifying users’ identities, and traded at least $209 million in the period with known illegal markets.
This would have facilitated activities such as money laundering and financing of terrorism and drug trafficking, according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Network.
One day before, on Monday (9), the Poloniex LLC has agreed to pay $10 million to close a regulatory investigation. According to the SEC, the exchange violated investor protection rules by not registering its operations with federal regulators.
According to the investigation, the company allowed its users to trade digital assets that were not SEC registered between 2017 and 2019.
Poloniex agreed to close the deal, without admitting or denying the infractions.
THE SEC has been signaling in recent times that it plans to expand the rules and scrutiny on the cryptocurrency segment, which the organization’s president, Gary Gensler, referred to this month as “Old West”.
He also said last week that cryptocurrency exchanges should register with the SEC and consult with regulators to see if the digital assets they trade qualify as securities.
Last week, the SEC also fined those responsible for a decentralized finance protocol (DeFi) called Money Market.
- Also read: Understand DeFi, an application that ‘boosts’ bitcoin and grew more than 20 times a year
The company would have traded more than US$30 million without registration with the authority through two cryptoactives, the mToken and the DMG, a governance token that gave holders voting rights and profit sharing.
According to the SEC indictment, the promise of earnings was based on supposed real assets pegged to tokens, such as car finance contracts. But the issuers would have found it difficult to carry out the operations in guarantee and did not inform investors about this.
The accused made a nearly $3 million deal to close the offer.
US closes siege on bitcoin — Photo: Getty Images