The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) could be investigated for a “haphazard and heavy-handed approach to digital assets,” or, more specifically, for its “sweetheart deal” with crypto platform Prometheum.
Such requests were filed on July 13 to the SEC’s Inspector General Deborah Jeffrey and the Government Accountability Office’s Comptroller General Gene Dodaro by Congressman Ritchie Torres. In the letters, published by the congressman on his Twitter, he writes:
“The SEC refuses to bring even the barest amount of clarity to the application of securities law to digital assets. Its preferred means of communicating is neither rule nor guidance but enforcement”.
Torres emphasizes the SEC’s May decision to grant a special broker purpose dealer (SPBD) license to Prometheum, a digital assets platform, created in 2017 by two American financial attorneys. According to Torres, “Prometheum appears to be nothing more than a Potemkin platform, operating as a timely talking point for crypto critics rather than a true trading platform for crypto customers.”
He calls for an examination of both the SEC’s failure to create “a workable process for registering” digital assets platforms and “the unusual backdoor deal” for Prometheum.
Prometheum recently became a public enemy for the crypto industry and Torres’ demand for investigation is not the first one. The company was thrust into the spotlight after a Congress testimony of its co-founder, Aaron Kaplan in June. The problem seems to be Kaplan’s general support of the SEC’s regulatory strategy under current securities laws.
Immediately after the hearing, theories about Prometheum started swirling on Twitter, emphasizing its possible ties to Chinese investors. On June 15, Blockchain Association filed a request with the SEC, seeking information about the company. In July, Six Republican Congressmen called on SEC to investigate Prometheum’s “ties to the Chinese Communist Party.”