Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed

Check out our list of top companies

Check out our carefully compiled lists of the most relevant and impactful companies within their fields.

Check out our list of top unicorns

Read and learn about the biggest companies that various countries have produced, how they made it, and what the future looks like for them.
January 3, 2024

Shaping Boundaries, The DOJ's Impact on Crypto Prosecutions in 2023

2023 saw the Department of Justice (DOJ) stepping into the spotlight, shaping the boundaries of the industry

In the ever-evolving landscape of the cryptocurrency industry, 2023 marked a significant turning point with the Department of Justice (DOJ) emerging as a pivotal force in defining its boundaries. While the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) grappled with civil lawsuits, the DOJ swiftly made headlines with high-profile criminal prosecutions. Within a year, convictions were secured, industry leaders were dethroned, and the very fabric of the crypto world felt the impact of the DOJ's proactive stance. In this article, we delve into the key developments that unfolded and the contrasting approaches of the DOJ and SEC, shedding light on their roles in shaping the crypto narrative.

In a whirlwind year, the DOJ left an indelible mark by securing the conviction of FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried and unseating Changpeng Zhao, the former head of Binance. These high-profile criminal prosecutions injected a sense of reality into the industry, underscoring the DOJ's role in defining its contours. Former federal prosecutors and legal experts lauded the DOJ's proactive stance, emphasizing its real-world impact beyond the SEC's courtroom battles.

Interestingly, many of the DOJ's crypto indictments ran parallel to complaints from the SEC. Figures like Alex Mashinsky and Do Kwon faced legal scrutiny from both agencies. While the SEC grappled with legal challenges and jurisdictional uncertainties, the DOJ's criminal prosecutions saw notable success. Some viewed this as a missed opportunity for the SEC to assert its authority, leaving observers to ponder the implications for the crypto industry's regulatory landscape.

Despite reaching settlements with some defendants, the SEC finds itself entangled in legal complexities. The enforcement actions against Binance and Coinbase have faced opposition, with pre-trial motions becoming a norm. The SEC's decision not to join the DOJ-Binance settlement signaled its commitment to classifying tokens on the exchange as securities, a stance likely to echo in higher courts. As SEC Chair Gary Gensler takes a tough stance, the agency faces challenges, with recent court decisions favoring crypto companies.

In the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies, the year 2023 witnessed a power shift in regulatory influence, with the DOJ taking center stage in shaping the industry's boundaries. As the SEC grapples with legal complexities and opposition, the DOJ's rapid resolutions have left an indelible mark. The contrasting approaches of the two agencies underscore the nuanced nature of crypto regulation. The final verdict on the classification of tokens, ongoing legal battles, and the broader regulatory landscape remain pivotal as the industry navigates the path ahead.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
Back to top

Related articles

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram