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    Genesis settles with the SEC, agreeing to a $21 million penalty


    Genesis Global Capital, LLC settles with the SEC, agreeing to a $21 million penalty for unregistered securities offerings through its Gemini Earn program.

    Genesis Global Capital, LLC has consented to a substantial $21 million fine to resolve Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges. The SEC’s announcement on March 19, 2024, detailed the charges against the firm for the unregistered offer and sale of securities through its crypto asset lending program, known as the Gemini Earn program.

    This settlement illuminates the SEC’s intensified focus on crypto lending platforms and the necessity for compliance with traditional securities laws. As stated by SEC Chair Gary Gensler, the action reinforces the message that adherence to investor protection laws is not only crucial for maintaining market integrity but is also a legal requirement.

    The case against Genesis stems from the operation of the Gemini Earn program, where customers, including U.S. retail investors, loaned their crypto assets to Genesis in return for interest payments. However, the program faced severe liquidity issues in November 2022, prohibiting approximately 340,000 investors from withdrawing their crypto assets valued at around $900 million.

    Genesis, without admitting or denying the allegations, agreed to the entry of a final judgment enforcing a permanent injunction against future violations of Section 5 of the Securities Act. This marks a significant effort by the SEC to bring crypto-asset market participants under the purview of traditional financial regulations and to ensure the protection of investors in this rapidly evolving market.

    The Genesis case serves as a reminder of the precarious nature of the cryptocurrency market and the importance of regulatory compliance. It also underscores the potential risks investors face when engaging with digital asset platforms that sidestep federal securities laws.

    The SEC’s action against Genesis follows its January 2023 charges against both Genesis and Gemini Trust Company, LLC, with the latter still facing ongoing litigation in the district court. The SEC’s investigation into the matter was spearheaded by a dedicated team, evidencing the commission’s commitment to thorough enforcement in the crypto space.

    As the industry continues to grapple with regulatory frameworks, this case highlights the need for crypto lending platforms and other intermediaries to prioritize investor protection through compliance. With the SEC’s steadfast approach to enforcement, the crypto market is likely to see increased efforts to align with established securities laws, promoting greater market trust and stability.

    Image source: Shutterstock



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