After a few years of relative dormancy, the SEC is once again targeting the flourishing cryptocurrency market. On August 3, 2021, SEC Chair Gary Gensler gave a speech to the Aspen Security Forum in which he referred to the cryptocurrency marketplace as the Wild West. Days later, the SEC filed its first case involving securities using DeFi technology and then a few days after that, reached a $10 million settlement with Poloniex for operating an unregistered digital asset exchange. Shortly after that, the SEC took aim at Coinbase’s planned crypto lending program causing the crypto giant to shelf the business model for the time being. SEC Commissioners are joining in, giving speeches in various forums focused on crypto and the regulatory environment.
In July 2017, the world of digital assets and cryptocurrency literally became an overnight business sector for corporate and securities lawyers, shifting from the pure technology sector, when the SEC issued its Section 21(a) Report on