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Crypto Regulation

SEC sues Rivetz for $18 million unregistered securities offering in 2017

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  • The SEC charge Rivetz with the sale of illegal securities to over 7,200 investors in 2017.
  • ICO Proceeds were used to fund the firm’s business, give the founder a $1M bonus and buy him a house.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Rivetz with an $18 million illegal securities offering. Founded in 2013, Rivetz leveraged blockchain technology to improve existing cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, passwords, and VPNs. The now-defunct company is accused of selling unregistered securities between July- Sept. 2017 to over 7,200 investors.

Per the regulator’s Sept. 8 complaint, the defendants are Rivetz Corp., founder Steven Sprague, and the firm’s subsidiary Rivetz International. The case focused on the ICO of the RvT token which Rivetz promoted and sold as an investment opportunity. Rivetz used proceeds to capitalize on its business by developing an app, ecosystem, and cyber security hardware.

SEC comes after Rivertz

Additionally, the defendants publicized the RvT tokens as “investments that purchasers could buy and sell on the secondary market.” The token, however, was “not operational” at the time of offering, the SEC claims.

Token buyers could not purchase any goods and services using RvT tokens, and the tokens had no other use in any Rivetz product or service. Several months after the tokens were distributed […] Sprague stated on social media that Rivetz did not have a specific release date’ for the Rivetz app through which consumers could use the RvT token.

During the initial sale, investors used Ether only to purchase RvT. After the sale was finalized, Rivetz and Sprague liquidated all received Ether through Rivetz International, the complaint reads. Other than funding the company’s operations, the funds that were used gave Sprague a $1 million bonus. They were also used to enable Sprague to get a separate loan of $2.5 million which he used to “purchase a house in the Cayman Islands that he then leased back to Rivetz Int’l.”

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Should the defendants be found guilty, the SEC is seeking injunctive relief. This means that rather than paying for wrongdoing with money, the defendants are to stop a specified act or behavior. The regulator also seeks the return of “ill-gotten gains,” prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.

Mounting regulatory action

The SEC has been making headlines for its promised action against non-compliant crypto firms. On Sept. 2, the commission charged the infamous Ponzi-scheme BitConnect as an alleged unregistered securities offering valued at $2 billion. Reportedly, the agency was also investigating Uniswap decentralized exchange (DEX) over its marketing and investor services.

Coinbase has also not been spared. The exchange planned to launch a new stablecoin yield program soon. However, earlier this week, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong revealed that the SEC had threatened to sue them should they proceed.

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One of the most prominent names in the blockchain industry, Erik Voorhees, questioned the regulator’s actions.

Why can’t a reputable company offer a useful service to customers that want it, without getting sued by regulators in the god damned United States of America?News Source

Crypto Regulation

Banks Must Meet These Conditions To Deal Crypto, US Regulator Says

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The mainstream adoption of digital assets has been one of the main targets that the crypto space set.

More and more moves are taking place in order to achieve this important goal and they continue.

Banks adopting crypto for their clients is one important step in this direction and you can check out the latest news about this below.

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US regulator details conditions for banks to deal crypto

It’s been just revealed that the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is outlining the conditions that national banks and federal savings associations have to mark before engaging in specified crypto activities.

The online publication the Daily Hodl says that according to the regulator, national banks and federal thrift institutions must do the following:

“demonstrate that they have adequate controls in place before they can engage in certain cryptocurrency, distributed ledger and stablecoin activities.”

The OCC also addressed some matters regarding interpretive letters issued in 2020 and early 2021.

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The regulator noted that banks can do the following:

“provide crypto custody services, hold dollar deposits that back stablecoins, act as nodes for distributed ledgers to verify payments and engage in particular stablecoin activities to facilitate payments on blockchain networks after notifying their supervisory office.

The same regulator also notes that the bank should not engage in the activity until “it receives a non-objection from its supervisory office.”

The Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Michael J. Hsu stated the following issues:

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“Because many of these technologies and products present novel risks, banks must be able to demonstrate that they have appropriate risk management systems and controls in place to conduct them safely.”

The regulator also said that this will “provide assurance that crypto-asset activities taking place inside of the federal regulatory perimeter are being conducted responsibly.”

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Breaking: India Likely to Table Cryptocurrency Bill Before Parliament Session

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India is reportedly working to table the much-talked cryptocurrency bill before or during the upcoming parliament session. The bill will be reportedly tabled during the upcoming union cabinet meeting while the winter session is set to start from November 29.

The said cryptocurrency bill comprises new regulations on crypto assets, their classification, and intended tax earnings from them. If the bill gets the cabinet nod, it might get approved during the upcoming parliament session. Earlier, inside sources indicated that the government might regulate cryptocurrencies as an asset class and will prohibit their use as a payment.

A top government official indicated that the new regulations would incorporate taxes on crypto gains based on the current rules of capital gains.  Tarun Bajaj, Revenue Secretary shed some light on the taxation on crypto assets and explained,

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“We will take a call. I understand that people are already paying taxes on it. Now that it has really grown a lot, we will see whether we can actually bring in some changes in the law or not. But that would be a Budget activity. We are already nearing the Budget; we have to look into it at that point in time,”

The Indian crypto ecosystem has strived despite the uncertainty around regulations for nearly four years. According to one report, the Indian crypto ecosystem has become a $6 billion industry with several new unicorns. Now with the government looking set to clear crypto regulations, the Indian crypto ecosystem could reach new highs.

Indian Central Bank Still Sceptic of Cryptocurrency

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian central bank is still quite a sceptic about digital assets use and has warned about its potential harm to the financial system. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das has recently warned about the disastrous impact that digital assets could pose on macroeconomic and financial stability.

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The infamous banking ban was also imposed by the RBI in 2017 that choked the crypto ecosystem and created many misconceptions among the mainstream. The banking ban was later overturned by the Supreme court of India in 2019.

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Crypto Regulation

US Senators Introduce New Bill That Seeks To Amend Crypto Provision in Newly Signed Infrastructure Package

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Two United States senators are introducing legislation to amend the crypto provision of the infrastructure bill that President Biden just signed into law.

Reaching across the aisle, Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Cynthia Lummis seek to revise the new information-reporting rules imposed on the digital asset space.

The proposed amendment intends “to revise the rules of construction applicable to information reporting requirements imposed on brokers with respect to digital assets, and for other purposes.”

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As a press release from Sen. Lummis explains,

“Under current law, those who are involved in digital asset mining or staking, providing digital asset hardware or software wallets, or developing digital asset protocols may fall under the definition of ‘broker’ for tax purposes and would be subject to certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements.

The senators’ bill would clarify that the ‘broker’ definition excludes miners and stakers, as well as wallet providers and developers, and would ensure that only those digital asset intermediaries that actually have access to material customer information are required to report to the IRS.”

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Senator Wyden says it is “critically important to protect innovation in the digital asset space.”

“Our bill makes clear that the new reporting requirements do not apply to individuals developing blockchain technology and wallets. This will protect American innovation while at the same time ensuring those who buy and sell cryptocurrency pay the taxes they already owe.”

Lummis, who has been a vocal advocate of cryptos as well as a buyer of Bitcoin (BTC), says digital assets are now a part of the financial system and today’s decisions will have long-term effects.

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“We need to be fostering innovation, not stifling it, if we are going to maintain America’s position as the global financial leader. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to ensure that our tax system reflects the realities of digital assets and distributed ledger technology.”

President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act/Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (HR 3684) bill into law on Tuesday.

Currently, Section 80603 of the law says,

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“Return Requirement for Certain Transfers of Digital Assets Not Otherwise Subject to Reporting.

Any broker, with respect to any transfer (which is not part of a sale or exchange executed by such broker) during a calendar year of covered security which is a digital asset from an account maintained by such broker to an account which is not maintained by, or an address not associated with, a person that such broker knows or has reason to know is also a broker, shall make a return for such calendar year, in such form as determined by the Secretary, showing the information otherwise required to be furnished with respect to transfers subject to subsection (a).’”

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