SEC charges Kraken with unregistered operations and fund mixing

SEC charges Kraken with unregistered operations and fund mixing

By Charles Thuo - min read
  • SEC has filed a lawsuit against Kraken.
  • The SEC is alleging that the exchange has been conducting unregistered operations.
  • Kraken is also accused of fund commingling.

In a recent development, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, adding it to the list of platforms facing accusations of operating without proper registration as securities businesses in the United States.

The SEC alleges that Kraken engaged in unregistered activities, operating as an unregistered broker, clearing agency, and dealer. The federal regulator claims that Kraken traded numerous tokens deemed securities without complying with federal securities laws.

The lawsuit identifies specific tokens, including Algorand (ALGO), Polygon (MATIC), and NEAR Protocol (NEAR), as unregistered securities that Kraken traded. The SEC contends that Kraken played a direct role in promoting these tokens to the investing public.

Fund Mixing

Notably, the SEC points out that Kraken commingled up to $33 billion in customer cryptocurrency with its own corporate assets, creating what it terms a “significant risk.”

The regulator asserts that Kraken also mixed over $5 billion of its customers’ cash with its own, even using customer funds for operational expenses directly.

Kraken advocates for regulatory clarity in response

In response to the SEC’s allegations, Kraken issued a statement asserting its disagreement with the complaint. The cryptocurrency exchange defends its position, emphasizing that it does not list securities and expressing disappointment in the SEC’s approach to regulation.

Kraken advocates for effective US market regulation tailored to the unique risks and benefits presented by cryptocurrencies. The exchange suggests that Congressional action is necessary to address the current lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S., criticizing the SEC’s regulatory approach as harmful to consumers and detrimental to innovation in the cryptocurrency space.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Kraken, Coinbase, and Binance find themselves in a shared spotlight, navigating the regulatory landscape of the cryptocurrency industry amid increasing scrutiny from the SEC.