SEC says group illegally raised $2B in crypto offering

Federal regulators have accused a group of people of promoting a securities offering tied to digital currency that raised over $2 billion from retail investors without being properly registered

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators have accused a group of people of promoting a securities offering tied to digital currency that raised over $2 billion from retail investors without being properly registered.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the civil lawsuit Friday in federal court in Manhattan. It alleges that an outfit called BitConnect used a network of promoters to sell the securities without registering the offering with the SEC, or registering themselves, as brokers as required by law.

Digital currencies aren’t tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously. The Biden administration is looking at tightening regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with an eye to preventing the growing incidence of ransomware attacks that demand payment in the currencies.

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