US Authorities Are Going After These Crypto Entities

Over time, the United States government, through its regulatory agencies, has filed cases against several crypto firms, demanding compliance for their products and services.

While the list is extensive, some cases have stood out, like lawsuits against decentralized protocols like Uniswap, crypto mixing platforms like Tornado Cash, and big firms like Binance and Coinbase.

The U.S. Fights Crypto

The U.S. government’s fight against crypto entities became more intense last year. Within 48 hours in early June, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance and Coinbase, the largest crypto exchanges globally and in the country. The allegations against the entities were similar: failure to register as brokers, national securities exchanges, clearing agencies, and violation of U.S. securities laws.

Two months after the Binance and Coinbase lawsuits, the  Department of Justice (DOJ) charged the co-founders of Tornado Cash, accusing them of laundering over $1 billion in criminal proceeds. This was a year after the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned the crypto mixer for its ties to cybercrime groups.

Toward the end of last year, the SEC sued the crypto exchange Kraken on the same charges it brought against Binance and Coinbase. Around the same time, the DOJ charged Binance and its founder, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), with willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act. The case saw the crypto exchange pay a fine of $4.3 billion, while CZ resigned from the role of CEO with a $50 million penalty.

The War Against DeFi

In March 2024, the DOJ charged crypto exchange KuCoin and its founders with violating the Bank Secrecy Act and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Last month, the SEC filed a notice of intent to sue Uniswap Labs, the company behind the largest decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap, for reasons yet to be disclosed. Around the same period, blockchain software technology company Consensys received a Wells Notice from the agency signaling intent of enforcement action against the company for violations of securities laws through its MetaMask wallet.

Also, the DOJ arrested and charged the founders of privacy-focused bitcoin wallet Samourai in the same month, accusing them of enabling over $100 million in laundered funds. At the time of writing, the wallet’s services were shut down, and its websites were seized. In addition, the DOJ recently arrested early BTC investor Roger Ver, popularly known as Bitcoin Jesus, for allegedly evading up to $50 million in taxes.

Meanwhile, one remarkable case in the industry is the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple, which has helped the crypto community clarify crypto asset securities.

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