According to recent regulatory filings by the cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale Investments, which were originally reported by CoinDesk, the company is currently responding to inquiries from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding three of its bitcoin trusts.
In three filings on August 16 that centre on the company’s trusts in Zcash (ZEC), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and Horizen, Grayscale reported its interactions with SEC employees (ZEN). It also made reference to this contact with the regulator in filings from June.
In its filings from June and August addressing its ZEC trust, Grayscale stated that “workers from the SEC’s Divisions of Corporation Finance and Enforcement have contacted the sponsor regarding the sponsor’s securities law examination of ZEC.” Responding to the SEC staff is something that the sponsor is currently doing. Grayscale’s filings for its XLM and ZEN trusts use the identical terminology, but vary the asset names to correspond with each trust.
According to Grayscale, each of these asset classes “may currently be a security” given the existing circumstances or may one day be determined to be a security by the SEC or a federal court. According to CoinDesk, the first component was absent from Grayscale’s June filings for the aforementioned trusts.
However, the company stated at the time that the regulator had not issued guidance on whether such cryptocurrencies were securities. The company did acknowledge its discussion with SEC officials in its June filings. By the time of publication, an email seeking response had not been answered.
These disclosures shed light on the ongoing discussions taking place between the SEC and cryptocurrency companies in the wake of heightened regulatory scrutiny of the sector. The SEC announced in May that it will dramatically expand the division in charge of looking into any violations of the securities laws in the cryptocurrency industry.
A former employee of Coinbase and two other people were accused of insider trading, and the SEC declared nine cryptocurrencies to be securities in July.
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