• Coinbase and Bittrex were both hit with lawsuits by the SEC in 2023.
• Bittrex agreed to pay a $24 million fine, while Coinbase refused and challenged them in court.
• The U.S. crypto market is facing increased scrutiny from regulators.
SEC Takes Aim at Crypto Players
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has had crypto entities operating in the country in its crosshairs, leading to a flurry of litigation and investigations. Market participants and experts have criticized the agency’s high-handedness, with some going so far as to label its recent actions as an effort to stem cryptocurrency growth.
Bittrex Settles With SEC
The SEC announced that cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex agreed to pay a $24 million fine to settle a case with the regulator. The U.S.-based trading platform was sued by the agency over allegations of running an unregistered securities exchange, similar to other bigger exchanges like Binance [BNB] and Coinbase [COIN]. Furthermore, Bittrex and former CEO William Shihara were accused of asking crypto issuers to delete statements from public forums which might lead to a financial regulator probe as well. The settlement included disgorgement of $14.4 million, prejudgment interest of $4 million, and a civil penalty of $5.6 million. Prior to this development, Bittrex had filed for bankruptcy protection with more than $500 million in assets and liabilities..
Coinbase Stays Resolute
While bigger crypto players like Coinbase have stayed firm and pursued legal action, some of the smaller entities are toeing the line set by the SEC authorities instead of challenging them in court. Coinbase refused to accept the terms put forward by the regulators after being hit with similar lawsuits earlier this year due most likely because it could afford it financially or that it felt confident enough about their case against them that they wanted take their chances in court rather than settling out-of-court like many other small players have done already .
Crypto Industry Criticizes Regulatory Actions
As regulatory pressure increases on digital asset players operating in America , industry participants have criticized such high-handedness from agencies like SEC . Some believe that this is part of coordinated effort from government agencies across America aiming at stemming further growth within cryptocurrency markets .
Ultimately , these developments indicate that regulatory enforcement is becoming stricter when it comes cryptocurrencies within American markets . Bigger players like Coinbase are opting for legal remedies while smaller ones like Bittrex are settling out-of-court due financial constraints or other reasons . The industry continues to remain critical about such rulings but nevertheless awaits further clarity on how authorities plan on regulating digital assets moving forward .