Crypto lender Nexo is having issues with state authorities from California, New York, Washington, Kentucky, Vermont, South Carolina, and Maryland. The enforcement actions from multiple state securities regulators detail that Nexo’s Earn Interest Product (EIP) may be in violation of securities laws.
Nexo Targeted by Several Securities Regulators Over the Crypto Lender’s Earn Interest Product
Following the issues that took place last year against Celsius’ and Blockfi’s interest-bearing accounts, the crypto lender Nexo has been targeted by several state securities regulators concerning the company’s Earn Interest Product (EIP). The state of California insists that since June 2020, Nexo has “offered and sold unqualified securities, in the form of Earn Interest Product accounts, to the United States public at large and to California residents.”
The state of New York and attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Nexo. Similarly, the state of New York and James say that Nexo started offering the EIPs around June 2020, up until the present day. James claims Nexo violates New York’s Martin Act, and acted as “unregistered securities brokers or dealers.” Washington is saying the same and Washington’s securities division mentioned several states are in on the law enforcement actions together.
Kentucky, Vermont, South Carolina, and Maryland have all filed similar actions against Nexo, and many of the complaints are ordering Nexo to cease and desist current operations tied to the firm’s interest-bearing accounts. Similar law enforcement actions took place in 2021 against Celsius before the company went bankrupt. Blockfi was also targeted by several state securities regulators in 2021 and in February 2022, Blockfi was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Blockfi decided to settle with the SEC and paid $100 million in penalties. Crypto lenders have had significant issues this year, and when rumors circulated that Celsius was insolvent, Nexo offered to purchase the company’s assets. Blockfi explained that it had zero exposure to Celsius but when Celsius paused withdrawals, the move caused a significant “uptick in client withdrawals” on the Blockfi platform.
Blockfi did, however, have exposure to the now-defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and Blockfi’s CEO said the firm lost $80 million from the bankrupt company. Nexo has been tweeting on September 26, but the crypto lender has not issued a statement concerning the securities regulators issuing cease and desist orders. Three days ago, the NFT lending desk held an ask-me-anything (AMA) session featuring the co-founder of Nexo and the firm’s managing partner.