Jan 19, 2023 - Economy

Crypto lender Nexo enters into $45 million settlement with SEC

Illustration of a gavel resting on a base made from bitcoin.

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Crypto lender Nexo has entered into a consent agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay a $45 million fine for offering an unregistered security in the U.S., in its "Earn Interest Product."

Why it matters: It's the latest in a string of actions by the agency that indicates any program where users deposit assets to earn interest in exchange for letting others borrow them must be registered as a security.

What they're saying: “We are not concerned with the labels put on offerings, but on their economic realities. And part of that reality is that crypto assets are not exempt from the federal securities laws,” Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a press release.

  • Nexo does not admit or deny the findings of the consent order.
  • Half of the $45 million fine will go to the SEC and the other half will go to authorities in other states.

Flashback: In December, Nexo announced it was closing its operations in the United States. The consent order includes a cease and desist, so there's no indication the firm will immediately return to operations here.

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