The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) crackdown on the crypto industry shows no signs of slowing down. The regulator continues to target firms and major players in the sector. In the latest move, the SEC has filed charges against Beaxy, a cryptocurrency platform, and its executives.
The SEC alleged that Beaxy failed to register as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency, resulting in a violation of securities laws.
Crypto Platform Beaxy Charged By The SEC
The founder of Beaxy, Artak Hamazaspyan, and his company, Beaxy Digital Ltd., are accused by the SEC of conducting an unregistered offering of the beaxy token (BXY) and misappropriating $900,000 for personal use, according to the SEC, including gambling.
Furthermore, the SEC has charged market makers operating on the Beaxy platform as “unregistered dealers. The charges suggest that the market makers failed to comply with registration requirements, which are put in place to protect investors and ensure market integrity.
Additionally, the SEC’s complaint targets Nicholas Murphy and Randolph Bay Abbott, who managed Windy Inc. The complaint alleges that Windy provided the Beaxy platform. This web-based trading platform facilitated the buying and selling crypto assets offered and allegedly sold as securities since October 2019.
The SEC’s complaint also alleged that Windy, through the Beaxy platform, violated the Securities Exchange Act, which regulates securities trading and other aspects of the securities markets in the United States.
The complaint further alleges that Murphy and Abbott convinced Hamazaspyan to resign from the Beaxy platform following the unregistered offering of BXY and the misappropriation of investors’ assets. However, the complaint suggests that Murphy and Abbott continued to operate the Beaxy platform through windy, which they managed.
As a result, the SEC alleges that Murphy and Abbott are also liable for operating an unregistered exchange, broker, and clearing agency.
The SEC Is Not Slowing Down Its Pace
The SEC alleges that in December 2019, Windy agreed with Brian Peterson and his companies, collectively known as the Braverock Entities, to provide market-making services for the Beaxy token, which was offered and sold as a security, according to the regulator.
The complaint further states that one of these companies entered a similar market-making agreement for another crypto asset in May 2020. According to the SEC, by providing market-making services and acting as intermediaries in the buying and selling of securities without registering, Peterson and the Braverock Entities acted as unregistered dealers.
According to the SEC, without admitting or denying the allegations, Windy, Murphy, Abbott, Peterson, and the Braverock Entities have agreed to permanent injunctions prohibiting them from future violations of securities laws and to pay civil penalties. Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, claimed:
When a crypto intermediary combines all of these functions under one roof—as we allege that Beaxy did—investors are at serious risk. The blurring of functions and the lack of registrations meant that regulations designed to protect investors were not followed or even recognized by Beaxy.
Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com