It’s been dubbed the “Casino Royale Showdown”––Justin Sun and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In March, the SEC charged the Chinese cryptocurrency billionaire and founder of Tron coin, alongside Tron and BitTorrent, for allegedly “fraudulently” manipulating the secondary market for his Tron (TRX) tokens. Sun denied the charges, claiming the accusations lack merit. But the people making the accusations are currently playing the role of high stakes casino mogul.
The SEC not only named Sun and his companies, but also charged several celebrities for the offer and sale of TRX and BitTorrent (BTT) without disclosing the payments. The SEC, taking a hard line stance, reached settlements with celebrities ranging from Austin Mahone and Soulja Boy to Akon and Lindsay Lohan amounting to more than $400,000 dollars in disgorgement and interest.
This is not only a massive enforcement case between a cryptocurrency entrepreneur and the U.S. financial regulator, but also an opportunity for East Asia to gain further respectability in the global market. East Asia is making great strides in terms of its increasing reputation as a legitimate site for cryptocurrency investment, and these advancements are not expected to slow down any time soon.
The SEC’s involvement in crypto assets has only recently become more prevalent. Along with the juggernaut involving Sun, the SEC is also working to prosecute Do Kwon, a fugitive from South Korea charged with cryptocurrency-related crimes, who was arrested in Montenegro.
On a different front, the SEC settlement announcement and the Justin Sun case is also attracting the interest of Nasdaq-listed Nexon. The Seoul— Tokyo-headquartered online gaming giant appears to have lined up a potentially massive deployment of a Polygon supernet for its blockbuster game Maplestory, with Polygon representing the Ethereum-based version of the Tron network.
Also, the SEC recently reached a $1.2 million settlement with Kim Kardashian for touting EMax tokens on her social media virtual platform. This case has become a symbol of the SEC’s work to protect investors from high-profile celebrities’ “lies”.
It’s hard to know how this Casino Royale Showdown might turn out. Will Sun end up being barred from serving as an officer or director of any firm offering crypto securities? Or could he reach a settlement agreement with the SEC? What is certain is that the East Asia-Caribbean region is becoming a powerful player in the digital asset arena, and that Justin Sun’s case may set a precedent for future cases that the SEC brings forward.
Regardless of the outcome, there is no doubt that the SEC’s involvement in the digital token world has become more pervasive and continues to be an effort to protect aspiring investors. Major companies are investing in digital assets, and with more high-profile celebrities promoting cryptocurrencies, investors should equip themselves with sufficient knowledge before investing. The Justin Sun case may be the ultimate showdown of East Asia versus the SEC, but whatever the outcome, it is an ongoing reminder of the importance of protecting investors with reliable regulations in the crypto world.