Terraform Labs to shut down after $4.5B SEC settlement: Law Decoded

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Terraform Labs has agreed to pay the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) roughly $4.47 billion as part of its settlement with the securities regulator. The duo settled after a jury found Terraform Labs and its co-founder liable for the Terra ecosystem collapse, which erased $40 billion in investor assets.

Chris Amani, CEO of Terraform Labs, has announced that the firm will cease operations following the settlement. The company plans to sell key projects within the Terra ecosystem and give the community control of the Terra blockchain.

In other news, lawyers for blockchain payments company Ripple have asked a court to consider an “appropriate” civil penalty in its case with the SEC following a settlement between the regulator and Terraform Labs. The SEC has requested that Ripple pay roughly $2 billion in disgorgement, prejudgement interest and civil penalties. Ripple has argued it should pay no more than a $10 million penalty.

However, the SEC disagreed with Ripple’s reasoning. Ripple’s argument that Terraform’s $420 million civil penalty was around 1.27% of its “$33 billion gross sales” wasn’t an “apples-to-apples comparison,” the SEC said. It measured Terraform’s penalty against “the gross profit of the violative conduct,” which it pinned at over $3.5 billion — a nearly 12% ratio.

The regulator argued Ripple’s civil penalty would be $102.6 million if the same ratio were applied to the $876.3 million of Ripple’s gross profits it asked to disgorge. “That low of a penalty would not satisfy the purposes of the civil penalty statutes,” the SEC said.

President Biden announces picks for SEC, FDIC and Treasury leadership

United States President Joe Biden will shake up leadership at financial regulators with his most recent picks for the SEC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Treasury Department and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. 

President Biden intends to nominate Christy Goldsmith Romero of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to replace FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg. He also plans to have CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson become the next Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Treasury Department and for Caroline Crenshaw to remain a commissioner at the SEC.

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Turkey to implement 0.03% transaction tax for crypto

Despite previously denying it planned to tax crypto and stock gains, the Turkish government is now considering targeted transaction taxes to ensure comprehensive financial regulation.

Turkey is preparing to introduce new taxes, including a 0.03% transaction tax on cryptocurrency trading, as part of a significant fiscal overhaul. The move aims to address the country’s budget deficit caused by 2023’s earthquakes and proposes a shift in approach to financial transaction regulation.

The 0.03% transaction tax move aims to tap into the growing popularity of crypto trading among Turkish investors seeking to hedge against inflation and currency depreciation.

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Australian exchange approves its first spot Bitcoin ETF

Australia’s largest stock exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), has approved its first spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), which will commence trading on June 20.

Investment firm VanEck will issue the spot Bitcoin ETF called the VanEck Bitcoin ETF (VBTC).

Although this is the first time a spot Bitcoin ETF has been approved by the ASX, two other Bitcoin ETFs have launched in Australia over the past two years. The Monochrome Bitcoin ETF (IBTC) was recently approved and started trading on Australia’s second-largest stock exchange, the Cboe Australia exchange.

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