EtherDelta SEC Action Could Impact Entire Industry, Experts Warn

 In Altcoins, Exchanges, Governments and Regulations

EtherDelta Could Set Precedent

EtherDelta, which operated since 2016 as a smart contract on Ethereum, fell victim to securities obligations under the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), leaving owner Zachary Coburn liable for penalties totaling $388,000.

This, securities lawyer Jake Chervinsky and Blockchain chief legal officer Marco Santori among others note, comes despite EtherDelta sharing few characteristics of a traditional cryptocurrency exchange.

“Even though EtherDelta was just a smart contract on Ethereum, the SEC said it was legally an ‘exchange’ because it ‘brought together purchasers and sellers of securities,’” Chervinsky notes quoting a filing Coburn uploaded about the dispute.

While the revelation about Coburn’s fine appeared to unsettle users, Chervinsky adds the event should have been expected given the raft of investigations the SEC has hinted are ongoing this year.

In future, he suggests, larger, “wealthier” targets could also come in for penalties, including those which have only tenuous links to the SEC such as overseas-registered entities.

No Way Out Of Obligations

“(Decentralized exchanges are) not a good way to escape securities laws,” Santori meanwhile summarized.

They are very, very broad. Much broader than the money services laws in the US.

In response to the continued fluid regulatory situation regarding cryptocurrency tokens in the US, some industry businesses have opted to take preemptive measures by excluding US users from accessing certain assets.

As reported, Bittrex, in addition to the US’ largest exchange Coinbase, is in the process of offering ‘international’ versions of its resource which will effectively segregate US accounts from others.

“U.S.-based customers will continue to use the Bittrex.com site and will not have access to the new tokens available on Bittrex International,” it explained outlining its plans late last month.

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