The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release that the SEC had “charged Payward Ventures, Inc. and Payward Trading Ltd., both commonly known as Kraken, with failing to register the offer and sale of their crypto asset staking-as-a-service program, whereby investors transfer crypto assets to Kraken for staking in exchange for advertised annual investment returns of as much as 21 percent.” The February 9, 2023 Press Release entitled “Kraken to Discontinue Unregistered Offer and Sale of Crypto Asset Staking-As-A-Service Program and Pay $30 Million to Settle SEC Charges” (https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2023-25) included these comments:
To settle the SEC’s charges, the two Kraken entities agreed to immediately cease offering or selling securities through crypto asset staking services or staking programs and pay $30 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
According to the SEC’s complaint, since 2019, Kraken has offered and sold its crypto asset “staking services” to the general public, whereby Kraken pools certain crypto assets transferred by investors and stakes them on behalf of those investors. Staking is a process in which investors lock up – or “stake” – their crypto tokens with a blockchain validator with the goal of being rewarded with new tokens when their staked crypto tokens become part of the process for validating data for the blockchain. When investors provide tokens to staking-as-a-service providers, they lose control of those tokens and take on risks associated with those platforms, with very little protection. The complaint alleges that Kraken touts that its staking investment program offers an easy-to-use platform and benefits that derive from Kraken’s efforts on behalf of investors, including Kraken’s strategies to obtain regular investment returns and payouts
This is clearly an important move by the SEC and should send important messages to the Crypto world!
Originally posted at https://www.vogelitlaw.com/blog/kraten-staking-as-a-service-settles-for-30-million-with-the-sec