The Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) settlement with the founder of EtherDelta is likely the first of many enforcement actions to come against crypto token exchanges.
Until recently, the SEC's scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry largely focused on projects and teams that raised money through initial coin offerings (ICOs) in possible violation of securities laws. But a person familiar with the SEC's thinking revealed that crypto trading platforms have become a significant priority for the agency's enforcement division. "At this point, if you're doing an exchange of crypto assets, dealing with U.S. persons, you probably need to get either a no-action letter or get clarity from counsel about whether you are implicating securities laws," said Andrew Hinkes, an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Law.
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