The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to take legal action against cryptocurrency company Paxos Trust Co. for violating investor protection laws. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the SEC intends to investigate and sue the Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin issuer for selling unregistered securities.
- What: The Securities and Exchange Commission may bring legal action against Paxos, the company that issued the BUSD stablecoin.
- Why: SEC claims Binance USD is unregistered security; hence Paxos violated investor protection laws.
- What next: Paxos has 30 days to respond to the SEC justifying why the agency should not sue the company.
The sources further reveal that the SEC has sent Paxos a Wells Notice, a letter the regulator uses to notify companies of potential enforcement actions. The regulator claims that the Binance USD (BUSD) token is an unregistered security; therefore, Paxos violated investor protection laws by issuing the token.
According to a spokesperson for Binance, BUSD is one of the “most transparent” 1-to-1 backed stablecoins, and Paxos owns and issues the product. Binance has granted Paxos a license to use its brand with BUSD. The spokesperson also noted that the New York Department of Financial Services regulates the BUSD issuer, Paxos.
A Wells notice does not guarantee that the SEC will take any enforcement action. The decision to pursue enforcement litigation or a settlement lies with the five commissioners of the SEC, who must vote to authorize such action.
On the other hand, Paxos has the option to respond in writing through a Wells submission. The response provides factual justifications for why the agency should not file any charges. Paxos has 30 days to respond to the SEC.
Paxo owns and has been issuing BUSD, a U.S. dollar-collateralized stablecoin, since September 2019 after a partnership with Binance. BUSD is the third-largest stablecoin and the 7th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization.
Paxos and the SEC have not responded to the issue at the time of publication.
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