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Regulatory and Compliance Updates: May 20–31

As part of our ongoing efforts to help our community stay on top of all relevant developments, below are updates on regulatory and compliance issues in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries for the period between May 21 and May 31.

🇺🇸 United States “Operation Cryptosweep”

At the annual meeting of the North American Securities Administrators Association umbrella group, local US state and Canadian securities regulators announced that they had undertaken a coordinated crackdown on cryptocurrency-related scams. The sweep involves at least 70 investigations, with 35 cases pending or already completed. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released a statement applauding the local regulators’ effort.

In the days since the sweep was announced, various local regulators have announced their specific crackdowns. For example, South Carolina’s securities regulator issued a cease and desist order against ShipChain, requiring them to cease activities in the state (ShipChain has disputed the allegations) and Alabama’s regulators issued similar orders against three ICO issuers.

Meanwhile, in New York, the legislator moved towards establishing a cryptocurrency task force to study various potential effects of cryptocurrencies on the state. The task force would, among other things, determine the number of digital currencies and exchanges operating in New York, gather information ab...

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