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The outcome of the SEC’s lawsuit against Gemini and Genesis is expected to have significant implications for the crypto industry and its evolving regulatory landscape.
Gemini crypto exchange, and Genesis, an insolvent crypto lender, have jointly filed a motion in US federal court, seeking the dismissal of the complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint against the Earn Program.
The SEC alleges that the Earn Program, operated by both firms, violates Federal Securities laws by offering unregistered securities to investors. According to a lawsuit filed in January, the SEC claims Gemini through its Earn Program raised billions of dollars worth of crypto assets from hundreds of thousands of investors.
Specifically, the SEC highlighted that Genesis held approximately $900 million in assets belonging to 340,000 investors when withdrawals were frozen from the platform in November, which coincided with Genesis filing for bankruptcy protection in the US.
Gemini Earn: Speaking Up Against the SEC
In response, both firms say that the SEC’s assertions are without substance and fail to establish a breach of securities laws. Gemini’s statement in its recent filings emphasizes its position that it does not require any lending or borrowing by any party participating in the Earn Program.
The firm added that it is only responsible for facilitating lending arrangements between lenders and borrowers and is not involved in the lending process. Furthermore, Gemini highlights two key arguments that the tri-party Master Digital Asset Loan Agreement (MDALA) does not meet the criteria for classification as a security under US securities regulations.
Gemini’s first argument revolves around the SEC’s failure to adequately argue that the MDALA meets the legal criteria for being classified as a security. On the other hand, Gemini’s second argument criticizes the SEC for failing to establish non-conclusive claims of selling or offering the MDALA to any entity.
Gemini Earn is a lending program developed by Gemini that allows customers to lend their crypto to institutional borrowers while earning interest on their investments.
Before Gemini ended the Earn Program, both firms were collaborating on the operations of the product. Notably, it gained traction in the crypto ecosystem, attracting a large number of individuals looking to profit from their crypto holdings.
Implications and Future Prospects
The outcome of the SEC’s lawsuit against Gemini and Genesis is expected to have significant implications for the crypto industry and its evolving regulatory landscape. A favorable ruling for the companies could affirm the position that the Earn Program does not inherently constitute “security” and may provide clarity for other lending programs in the industry.
On the other hand, if the court upholds the SEC’s accusations, it might have ramifications for loan programs and exchanges that engage in similar activity. Increased regulatory scrutiny on lending initiatives is possible, which might result in increased compliance requirements and potential limitations on the services provided by crypto platforms.