Coinbase Settles US Compliance Shortcomings With $100 Million Fine
US largest crypto trading platform, Coinbase, has agreed to part a total sum of $100 million towards settling its compliance worries with US financial regulators. The sum is reportedly split into two halves, per a New York Times report, with one part as a fine and the other designated as part of commitments to improve internal compliance efforts.
Coinbase was accused of multiple compliances and anti-money laundering violations, including a backlog of necessary scrutiny measures affecting over 100,000 transactions. For a crypto exchange valued at $7.6 billion, the company’s know-your-customer (KYC) practices have been described as rudimentary and porous, with a high risk of allowing lawbreakers and criminals to swindle unsuspecting victims through its platform.
The company had earlier pledged to revamp its compliance team–which the financial regulators describe as too overwhelmed to keep up with over 100 million unique customers–by incorporating external evaluators. But such efforts proved rather ineffective, prompting the opening of a formal investigation last year.
Since obtaining its license in 2017, Coinbase has prided itself as one of the biggest crypto players to establish a foothold in the US. But, the New York-licensed company appeared to have fallen short of the strict regulatory standards peculiar to US markets.
In the US, crypto companies are held to the same compliance standards as commercial banks. Many believe the now-defunct FTX may not have engaged in such fraudulent practices if it was registered in the US instead of the Bahamas. But over the last few years, a trove of donations, nearing billions of dollars, were largely enjoyed by key political officers and decision-makers at the White House–much with little to no suspicion or scrutiny–in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections.
Worse still, there are still no approved laws for policing operations, despite two congressional recommendations and SEC digital assets report, as crypto innovations spring faster, spreading across one-twelfth of the US total population.
With the current violation, Coinbase will join top exchanges like Kraken and Robinhood, already enlisted in the US regulatory violations list, with a combined fine of $30.3 million. Rumours are ripe about a four-year IRS investigation into Binance compliance misgivings now nearing close. The result, if indicative of Changpeng Zhao’s company, could see Binance give away a considerable grip on its momentous dominance, especially since the fall of embattled Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX.