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According to a staffer from the office of United States Senator Cynthia Lummis, every exchange in the country, as well as Binance, is reportedly being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Crypto Exchanges Under Investigation
Per a report from Forbes quoting an unnamed staffer from Senator Lummis’ office, the SEC is reportedly probing Binance and every exchange in the United States. There have also been widely circulated reports that the SEC is investigating the $20 billion exchange Coinbase. According to the source, the SEC is seeking to establish itself as the country’s chief crypto regulator as it battles it out with the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission for oversight and regulation of the industry (CFTC). Since 2014, the CFTC has maintained authority over “virtual currencies”, but the SEC has recently made its voice known indicating that it seeks to control the industry. The SEC's chairman, Gary Gensler has said on multiple occasions that many tokens might qualify as unregistered securities, which would place them under the purview of the SEC, and last week gave its strongest hint yet that it intends to clamp down on the nascent industry.
Regulators Step Up Oversight
Regulations have up stepped oversight lately after the SEC charged a former Coinbase employee along with two associates for insider trading. The regulator has also claimed that the exchange let customers trade “at least nine” unregistered securities. The Coinbase insider trading allegations have sent shockwaves across the industry, and it has emerged that the regulator was probing Coinbase. Binance U.S. responded by delisting one of the tokens mentioned as a so-called unregistered security – AMP. Since the insider trading filing, SEC chairman Gensler has gone on record saying that he does not see a difference between cryptocurrency exchanges and traditional stock trading venues, continuing that there are “inherent conflicts of interest” with exchanges that act as market makers. The SEC’s wrath continued last week when it charged 11 people behind the Forsage website which it has called a “crypto pyramid scheme,” and which cost users $300 million.
While the SEC and the CFTC battle it out to establish who should have regulatory oversight of the industry, the Senate Agriculture Committee introduced a bill this week, if passed, would see Bitcoin and Ethereum classified as commodities and give the CFTC oversight of the exchanges that list them for trading.
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