Alabama regulators accuse BlockFi, BlockFi Lending, and BlockFi Trading of promoting unregistered securities.
According to BlockFi, the Securities and Exchange Commission continues to reject claims that its Interest Accounts are unregistered securities.
Alabama has become the second state in the United States to express worry about BlockFi, a significant bitcoin lending platform. The first state to express concern was New York.
An order to show cause was issued by the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) to the New Jersey-based startup BlockFi, according to ASC director Joseph Borg, who made the announcement on Wednesday.
According to the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, BlockFi now has 28 days to provide justification for why the platform should not be forced to cease and desist from selling “unregistered securities” in Alabama.
BlockFi is already subject to a cease and desist order from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities.
According to the ASC, BlockFi’s interest-bearing cryptocurrency BlockFi Interest Accounts qualify as securities under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to the regulator, BlockFi has raised at least $14.7 billion in total through the sale of these securities around the world.
According to the ASC, BlockFi, together with its affiliates BlockFi Lending and BlockFi Trading, has been funding its crypto lending operations and trading operations “at least in part” using monies produced through the sale of unregistered securities, which is a violation of federal securities laws.
According to the ruling, BlockFi has also failed to disclose to investors that its business improvement agreements (BIAs) have not been approved by the ASC or any other securities regulator, despite the firm claiming to be a “U.S. regulated entity.”
BlockFi later stated that the firm was aware of the ASC’s show-cause order and that it had been in “active dialogue” with authorities throughout the world, including those in Alabama, since the order was issued. BlockFi stated that the company is confident that its products are legal and appropriate for crypto market players, and that its attitude on the matter has not changed. “The BlockFI Interest Account is not a security,” the company stated.
[1/1]We are aware of the show cause order issued by the Alabama Securities Commission. We have active dialogues with regulators worldwide, including those in Alabama, to share details about our products, which we believe are lawful and appropriate for crypto market participants.— BlockFi (@BlockFi) July 21, 2021
According to the ASC, the move is being taken in response to growing worries about the increasing popularity of decentralised finance platforms such as BlockFi, which are designed to deliver financial services without relying on central financial intermediaries (such as banks).
Investor funds, in contrast to those held by conventionally regulated banks and brokerage businesses, are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, according to the authority, resulting in a larger risk of loss.
After two days of deliberation, the New Jersey Securities Division issued a cease and desist order against BlockFi, effectively prohibiting the platform from accepting any new interest account clients in the state.