Amidst the current hostility towards the digital asset industry, the Blockchain Association has taken action by submitting a letter to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Inspector General, urging an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Prometheum.
The investigation results from Prometheum allegedly receiving favorable regulatory status from the SEC. Marisa Tashman Coppel, Senior Counsel of the Blockchain Association, has raised questions about this decision.
Blockchain Association wants Prometheum questioned
In the letter dated July 12, the Blockchain Association requested that SEC inspector general Deborah Jeffrey look into the approval of Prometheum’s special purpose broker-dealer license (SPBD) by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
1/ Today, @blockchainassn submitted a letter to the SEC Office of Inspector General requesting the OIG open an investigation into potential impropriety surrounding the approval of Prometheum as a first-of-its-kind Special Purpose Broker-Dealer.@KMSmithDC stated: pic.twitter.com/dVtTs0yMEg— Blockchain Association (@BlockchainAssn) July 12, 2023
The association also expressed concerns about how co-CEO Aaron Kaplan secured a seat to testify before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee in June.
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In the letter, the advocacy group highlighted its concerns regarding Prometheum’s ability to obtain the SPBD license in May 2023, given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the application of United States securities laws to crypto firms.
They also pointed out that Prometheum’s change in public stance from calling for regulatory clarity from the SEC in April 2021 to claiming that a clear pathway to registration for digital assets exists and legislation is unnecessary was particularly “concerning.”
This comes after an announcement in June that the advocacy group submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking documents and communications about Prometheum’s license. The subsequent call for an investigation into Prometheum stemmed from this FOIA request made by the advocacy group.
SEC sues Binance and Coinbase
The community is facing numerous uncertainties. One relates to recent legal actions taken by the SEC against two major exchanges, Binance and Coinbase. The lawsuits allege that both companies operated securities exchanges without proper registration, violating regulatory requirements. Although the allegations in each case differ, they both share the common claim of noncompliance with regulations.
The SEC accused Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, of mishandling customer funds and unlawfully serving United States investors. Similarly, Coinbase, the only publicly-traded crypto exchange company, was charged with operating an unregistered securities exchange.
Binance and Coinbase have strongly refuted these accusations, sparking debates about the ambiguity of crypto exchange regulations and the absence of clear directives.
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