The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday said Nexo Capital Inc., a crypto platform for buying digital assets, agreed to pay a total $45 million in fines to settle charges by the federal agency and state regulatory authorities.
On Thursday, the SEC said Nexo failed to register the offer and sale of its retail crypto asset lending product, the Earn Interest Product (EIP). The EIP accounts, which launched in June 2020, allowed investors in the U.S. to deposit crypto assets with Nexo and passively earn interest on those deposits. The order found that the EIP is a security and that the EIP didn’t qualify for an exemption from SEC registration, but Nexo failed to register it.
“We charged Nexo with failing to register its retail crypto lending product before offering it to the public, bypassing essential disclosure requirements designed to protect investors,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler, in a news release.
To settle the charges, Nexo has agreed to pay the SEC a $22.5 million penalty and cease the unregistered offer and sale of the EIP, the agency said. Nexo will pay an additional $22.5 million in fines to settle similar charges by state regulatory authorities, making the grand total of the combined charges and fines $45 million, according to the SEC.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Nexo agreed to a cease-and-desist order prohibiting it from violating the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933.
In a statement, Nexo said the settlement “closes all multi-year-long inquiries into Nexo, looking at various aspects of the business, following the company’s voluntary decision to stop offering its EIP in the U.S., Nexo’s proactive exit from the U.S. market in an orderly fashion, and an agreement to pay a monetary penalty, payable over a 12-month period.”
The Nexo token’s market cap is around $418 million, according to CoinMarketCap, and was trading up 2.6% in the last 24 hours.