Terraform Labs challenges SEC over unjust $5.3 billion penalty


  • Terraform contests SEC’s $5.3 billion fraud penalty.
  • SEC claims unregistered sales caused $40 billion loss.
  • Terraform argues most sales occurred outside the US.

Terraform Labs and its CEO, Do Kwon, have been confronted with substantive charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the SEC, they have been involved with fraud involving more than $4 billion from unregistered token sales. One of the main types of coins is the cryptocurrency tokens LUNA and UST.

UST, an algorithmically issued coin, no longer held its peg to the US dollar, causing the market price to plummet by approximately $40 billion in 2022. Terraform’s legal team, however, has refuted the charges shown by the SEC in general agreement with the penalty sum of about $5.3 billion.

Terraform argues against $5.3 billion fine

The height of the conflict came when the jury in New York ruled on April 5, 2024, that both Terraform and Kwon were in the wrong for committing fraud. The last day of the two-week trial ended with a judgment that could bring notable punishment to the cryptocurrency sector. 

Nevertheless, Terraform’s lawyers believe that most of the UST stablecoin sales took place in countries other than the US. They argue that the SEC hasn’t provided strong enough evidence that there is a link between Terraform’s small operations in the U.S. and the big financial losses indicated.

After the sentence, the SEC demands for financial measures, arguing that it will serve as a template for the business. As stated, the commission urged concrete and effective words around explicit wrong conduct in the cryptocurrency field. On the other hand, Terraform lawyers are at least arguing that the penalty is too high and nothing deserves to be deserved, saying that proper financial compensation for clients may be around $1 million.

Meanwhile, Terraform’s defense is dependent on the international spread of its business activity. On May 1, 2024, Terraform’s attorneys filed a response arguing the SEC’s lack of authority and insufficient evidence. They argued overwhelmingly that most transactions didn’t occur within U.S. territories, and they deserved no such huge fines under U.S. jurisdiction.

Moreover, the defense lawyers justified that position because everything was done in Korea and Singapore. He contended that his role in the allied operations would be the one with the minimum predictable influence on the U.S. operations. In a different filing, Terraform leaped to check the SEC’s narrative by querying whether it was correct. The firm’s legal representatives criticized the SEC’s lack of evidence linking suspected ones to the large scale of losses that the SEC claimed.

Grewal highlights compliance in the crypto sector

The SEC, via its Enforcement Division chairman, Gurbir Grewal, has enjoyed the court’s ruling. Grewal echoed the need for compliance in the crypto industry and just as well referred to the devastating investor losses highlighted in the case of the immediate past. He contended that the decision represents a crucial point for the creator of the regulatory regime targeted on rewarding those who move along the line with the general social good and discouraging the other bad-intentioned actors.

This judicial case signifies not only the careful research and precautions applied to the cryptocurrency industry in the US but also an increasing display of due attention and cautious regulations. If the retrial concludes with a ruling that has not yet been decided, the final verdict is expected to shape not only the future of Terraform Labs and its operations but also how other crypto companies will interact with and seek to comply with the regulatory regime, particularly as far as crypto firms’ international operations are concerned.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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