Kraken and SEC reach settlement in staking case

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has reached a $30m settlement with Kraken which will discontinue its staking product in the US.

Crypto exchange Kraken has agreed to discontinue its staking operations in the country as part of a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Rumors that SEC is looking to shutter staking operations for retail consumers in the US are intensifying after Coinbase commented on the settlement.

A vote took place on Thursday behind closed doors with Kraken. The watchdog agreed to not pursue the matter any further, providing that the cryptocurrency exchange accepted SEC’s terms.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was among the notable crypto personalities to weigh in on rumors that SEC may prohibit staking completely for retail consumers in the US. The executive argued that this course of action could stifle innovation and push businesses offshore.

Both Kraken and SEC declined to comment, but the regulator released a statement on Thursday in which it said that the exchange and the watchdog had reached a $30m settlement, involving Kraken’s withdrawal of its staking product from the market.

Staking is essentially seen as a security under US laws, although no formal definition has been made by the regulator.

However, SEC chair Gary Gensler argues that staking products could pass the Howey Test, which is the main way to determine if a specific financial product is indeed a security.

Cryptocurrency companies have insisted their products are not securities and anything offered to consumers in their framework is not illegal.

In a way, staking is similar to lending, and SEC has already reached several settlements in the past few years against crypto lenders.

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Written by Barney


Barney is co-founder of When not at work he can usually be found behind a Nikon. He's won numerous international competitions for his photography and volunteers as a content creator for aid organisations in Africa.

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