SEC’s Leniency in $5 Million Verdict Hints at Crypto Policy Pivot

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Expert Accuses the SEC
  • The SEC recently gained attention due to legal proceedings, particularly the Impact Theory case.
  • Jeremy Hogan, a partner at Hogan and Hogan, hinted at a potential change in the SEC’s approach through a tweet.
  • This amount seems modest compared to the total sales figure of nearly $30 million associated with the case, raising questions about the SEC’s leniency.

Recent developments at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have attracted attention, primarily stemming from the commission’s controversial first NFT-related enforcement action. The SEC’s recent lawsuit against LA-based Impact Theory alleged that the company’s $30 million sale of NFTs amounted to an unregistered securities offering. The conclusion of the case has since drawn speculation that the SEC may be changing tack, offering a glimmer of hope to the cryptocurrency community.

The SEC’s lawsuit against Impact Theory concluded with a significant $5 million disgorgement order. While this sum should not be underestimated, it appears relatively modest when compared to the total sales figure of nearly $30 million associated with the case, according to a post on X by Florida attorney Jeremy Hogan. This outcome has led some observers to perceive the SEC’s stance as becoming more lenient.

Hogan’s remarks were prompted by a tweet from Chris Larsen, the executive chairman of Ripple, expressing optimism about a shift in SEC policy.

In his tweet, Larsen expressed his hope that the SEC would move away from a strategy of regulation through enforcement. This tweet mirrors a growing sentiment within the cryptocurrency community that the SEC’s aggressive enforcement tactics may be losing popularity.

In recent years, the SEC has faced criticism for its approach to regulating the cryptocurrency industry. Critics argue that the SEC’s heavy reliance on enforcement actions as a primary regulatory tool has led to uncertainty and hindered innovation.

In addition, Larsen also conveyed to Bloomberg his belief that San Francisco was poised to become “the blockchain capital of the world” but lost this status due to what he perceives as unfriendly U.S. government policies.

The $5 million disgorgement in the Impact Theory case, while significant, represents leniency when compated to the SEC’s previous high-stakes demands. This could suggest a shift in the SEC’s approach, although only time will tell.