Stakes Are High for Unregistered Cryptocurrency Sales

  • Maryland AG Anthony Brown filed an action against cryptocurrency company Coinbase, Inc. and its parent company alleging that the company violated the Maryland Securities Act through the sale of unregistered crypto asset staking offerings.
  • According to the cease and desist order, Coinbase allegedly failed to register its staking offerings in Maryland, thus depriving Maryland investors of the material information and oversight afforded by the registration requirements. Staking offerings operate similarly to a pooled investment vehicle by aggregating individual investor deposits that Coinbase then “stakes” on various blockchains.
  • Maryland is one of several states taking action to address alleged crypto registration violations. As we recently reported, New Jersey AG Matthew Platkin filed a cease and desist order to stop the Shark of Wall Street and from misleadingly marketing unregistered cryptocurrencies and NFTs, and New York AG Letitia James sued KuCoin for failing to register as a commodity or securities broker-dealer under the state’s Martin Act.