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Kraken Faces US SEC Scrutiny Over Sale of Unregistered Securities, May Result in Settlement: Report




The US SEC wants companies that help facilitate transactions in the crypto market to register with the agency, just like other market intermediaries.
By Reuters | Updated: 9 February 2023

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of unregistered securities, according to a Bloomberg report.

The regulator’s inquiry is at an advanced stage and could result in a settlement with the San Francisco-based platform in the coming days, the report added.

Kraken declined to comment on the report. The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously said that companies that help facilitate transactions in the crypto market should register with the agency just like other market intermediaries.

Kraken’s incoming chief executive officer told Reuters in September that the exchange had no plans to register with the SEC as a market intermediary, or to delist crypto tokens that the regulator has labelled as securities.

In November, Kraken agreed to pay $362,000 (roughly Rs. 3 crore) to the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to settle civil liability related to apparent violations of sanctions on Iran, and to invest an additional $100,000 (roughly Rs. 82.5 lakh) in certain sanctions compliance controls.

Kraken had announced in December that it would exit the Japanese market in a bid to prioritise its resources at a time when the global crypto industry was undergoing a slump. At the time, the crypto market valuation was at its lowest point in 2022 and stood at $801 billion (roughly Rs. 66,42,614 crore).

Whatever funds in the form of Japanese Yen (JPY) remained with Kraken at the start of February, would be deposited to a Guaranty Account at the Legal Affairs Bureau, Kraken said at the time.

© Thomson Reuters 2023