Filecoin (FIL) is now in the crosshairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Grayscale has issued an alert.
Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest crypto asset manager with 635,000 BTC raised from institutional investors for its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust fund, has received a warning letter from the SEC regarding the cryptocurrency Filecoin (FIL), which it considers a security.
This follows an investigation already underway by the US regulator into several other tokens. In April, Grayscale began registering a new trust with Filecoin’s FIL as its underlying asset.
The SEC continues its crusade!
On May 16, Grayscale received a letter from the SEC stating that the FIL token meets the definition of a security under the federal securities laws, and that the trust appears to meet the definition of an investment company. The SEC has asked Grayscale to promptly withdraw its registration statement.
However, Grayscale disputes this recharacterization as an IDF, and intends to quickly provide legal explanations to the SEC to support its position. If no agreement is reached, dissolution of the trust may become necessary.
This situation highlights the SEC’s desire to reclassify many tokens as securities. Back in 2022, the US authority had already targeted three trusts linked to the cryptocurrencies Stellar (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and Horizen (ZEN). Since then, the SEC has extended its actions against other tokens and crypto services, particularly those linked to staking. Fines have been imposed on Kraken, which has also had to withdraw its product from the USA, and Coinbase is also the target of proceedings.
Companies complain of a lack of legal clarity, but SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has suggested that many tokens, particularly those based on the proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism, should be considered securities.
In his view, the lack of regulatory compliance in crypto markets is not due to a lack of legal clarity, but rather a failure to comply with existing regulations. The question of the status of Ethereum (ETH) as a security was also raised, but Gensler avoided giving a clear position when questioned by the US Congress.