SEC Investigates Salt Lending’s ICO, Huobi Advises Russian Bank on DLT
In recent regulatory news, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly launched an investigation into Salt Lending’s 2017 initial coin offering. Separately, the SEC revealed that it has stopped accepting public comments on nine bitcoin exchange-traded funds that it rejected in August, and digital asset exchange Huobi has announced that it is providing cryptocurrency consulting services to a Russian state-owned bank.
Crypto Loan Provider Subpoenaed by SEC
Cryptocurrency loan platform Salt Lending and former board member Erik Voorhees are under investigation by the SEC, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited “people familiar with the probe.” Voorhees has responded by publishing a separate article that describes the newspaper’s claims as “inaccurate and misleading.”
Salt Lending was reportedly subpoenaed by the SEC in February, with the regulator seeking information regarding the $50 million ICO it held in 2017. The report states that the SEC aims to determine whether the ICO constituted an unlicensed securities offering, while also investigating how the proceeds were spent.
Public Comment Closes on Nine Rejected ETFs
Separately, the SEC has revealed that it recently stopped accepting feedback on nine proposed bitcoin ETFs that it rejected on Aug. 22. It said in October that it would review public comments on the proposed funds through early November.
Two of the ETFs in question were filed by Proshares, in partnership with the NYSE Arca exchange. Two others were proposed by Graniteshares, while another five of the rejected ETFs were brought forward by Direxion.
The day after the regulator rejected the ETFs, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce took to Twitter to clarify that it had delegated the assessment of the proposed funds to its staff. She added that the commission would review the decisions made by its staff on the matter. At the time of writing, the SEC had not yet provided any further comment regarding the ETFs, nor had it set a deadline for its deliberations.
Huobi Provides DLT Consulting Services to VEB
Huobi has agreed to provide consulting services to Russia’s Vnesheconombank (VEB) relating to distributed ledger technology (DLT), according to Vladimir Demin, the head of VEB’s Center of Digital Transformations. He claimed the state-owned bank had started working on DLT projects that do not involve cryptocurrencies or tokens.
“Using [DLT] only in a non-token way is like jumping halfway over the abyss,” Demin said, adding that VEB has also been talking to the Bank of Russia and State Duma about cryptocurrency regulations. “Huobi came out as the most suitable partner as they are already working with the governments of Australia, Singapore, [and] China.”
Huobi is also reportedly finalizing a contract that will see the company provide training for a DLT program at the Plekhanov University of Economics. Reports about its partnerships in Russia follow the exchange’s launch of a office staffed by 30 people in Moscow earlier this month.