The United States securities regulator undertook a marked increase in enforcement actions related to cryptocurrencies in the half-year period following the bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
An examination of press releases from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and news stories about its activities revealed that in the six months prior to FTX’s failure, the SEC initiated roughly six enforcement actions.
In the six months following FTX’s bankruptcy on November 11, 2022, the number of SEC crypto-related enforcement actions rose to a minimum of 17, representing an estimated increase of 183% from the preceding period.
The analysis does not take into consideration the two lawsuits that the SEC filed against Binance on June 5 and Coinbase the following day.
Some observers have suggested that the SEC is attempting to make up for not monitoring FTX by taking the heightened measures, including the most recent ones against the two exchanges.
MarketWatch reported that U.S. Representative French Hill stated at an event in Washington, D.C. on June 7 that the recent crackdown was a “cover your ass” maneuver on the part of regulator and SEC chair Gary Gensler.
Hill asserted that instead of Gensler supervising FTX, the SEC head was instead “criticizing Kim Kardashian for her advertisement of cryptocurrency during the Super Bowl,” adding:
Markus Thielen, the head of research and strategy at Matrixport and author of the book Crypto Titans: How trillions were made and billions lost in the cryptocurrency markets, previously told Cointelegraph that he believes there is a sense of shame for those who did not identify the problems at FTX.
The SEC has determined that 67 cryptocurrencies are now considered securities under their laws.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse expressed a similar opinion, tweeting on June 6 that the SEC is “trying to distract from their FTX fiasco by filing a flurry of lawsuits.”
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