SEC Scrutinizes NFT Market Over Illegal Crypto Token Offerings

Sani Abdul-Jabbar
4 min readAug 31, 2022


The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into creators of NFTs, and the cryptocurrency exchanges where they trade, to see if any of them violate securities regulations. The inquiry’s emphasis is on whether specific non-fungible tokens are used for fundraising, much like traditional equities. The attorneys in the SEC’s enforcement division have issued subpoenas demanding information about the token offerings. Although, information requests from the regulator don’t always lead to enforcement actions.

A key legal question remains whether digital assets including NFTs are securities, and therefore subject to the same rules as stocks. While the SEC has said that many tokens fall under its purview, some crypto enthusiasts argue regulations meant to police the equity markets shouldn’t also apply to virtual currencies.

Given the breadth of the NFT market, some elements of it may be subject to SEC authority. People must consider the potential areas where NFTs may run into securities regulation.

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Kraken Crypto Exchange Won’t Shut Down Russian Accounts Unless Legally Required

Some of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, including Kraken and Binance, are staying put in Russia, breaking ranks with mainstream finance — and raising fears of sanctions backdoor.

Kraken CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell stated that blanket bans against ordinary Russians were unjustified, as they may not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

While most exchanges do perform identity verifications, the requirements for “know-your-customer” regulations vary across the sector, raising concerns among regulators who see crypto as a potential tool for illegal money.

Due to difficulties converting digital currencies into conventional money via financial firms that are subject to anti-money laundering regulations, businesses or individuals would not be able to utilize crypto to avoid sanctions. Even if we look at the level of individual elites, moving hundreds of billions of dollars through digital wallets would expose them to those monitoring virtual currency market movements.

The conflict exposes the ideological chasm that exists between conventional finance and the cryptocurrency world, which is based on anti-government sentiments and libertarian ideas. The crypto exchanges argued that curtailing access to payments free of government control goes against the spirit of cryptocurrency, which is to provide unrestricted access to money.

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NYSE Files Trademark for OpenSea-like NFT Marketplace

The NYSE has its eyes set on new opportunities in the lucrative NFT trading craze, according to a recent filing with US Patent and Trademark Office. This move would pit the centuries-old corporation against crypto unicorns like OpenSea, and other prominent NFT marketplaces.

It wouldn’t be the NYSE’s first foray into Web3: In spring 2021, the stock exchange minted six NFTs, , dubbed “NYSE First Trade NFTs”, commemorating the public debuts of buzzy tech companies. Then the tokens were not sold but gifted to the companies.

NYSE is not alone! According to federal statistics, there were 2,023 new NFT-related trademark filings Since last year, perhaps the most evident proof of a collective corporate fear of missing out. For most firms, getting a trademark application approved is a very early stage endeavor, implying that if it does happen, it could take time. A trademark initiative typically stems from a desire to safeguard intellectual property from new competition.

The exchange’s goal appears to be more to safeguard its intellectual property than to launch cryptocurrency or NFT trading right away.

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Forbes Announces Inaugural Digital Assets and Web 3 Sumit

The first-ever Forbes Digital Assets and Web3 Summit will be held virtually on March 16, 2022, to commemorate the debut of the Forbes Blockchain 50 list’s newest members. I, along with my colleagues at VezTek, plan to join other industry experts and debate the future of digital assets and Web3.

Blockchain and Web3 technologies are changing the way we invest, plan business models, and bring products to market. Projects like these have inspired big companies all around the world — even those that don’t usually work with cryptocurrencies or blockchain-based projects –to create new items for both physical and virtual realms! The conference will be a great opportunity to participate in a dynamic program of panels and chats on topics including blue-chip bitcoin, the impact of Web3 on the future of business, how blockchain is revolutionizing ETFs, and what’s next for the NFT market.

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Financial NFTs Could Be the Ultimate Path to DeFi Mass Adoption

The DeFi industry is worth over $200 billion and rapidly growing. While the growth of DeFi is inevitable, it suffers from a lack of an incentive to long-term liquidity providers, as well as insecurities with cyberattacks and digital asset thefts.

A new trend, Financial NFTs are tokens that when used in a DeFi protocol can implement complex functionalities such as dividends and fractionalized ownership. When tokenized as an NFT, loans can be traded on an NFT marketplace. Tokenized loans provide more flexibility to a borrower and possible future-proof products. The possibility of earning returns by providing liquidity and retaining their original positions even after fresh investors enter the market is one of the appealing features of financial NFTs in DeFi protocols. Tokenizing financial products allow for their easy movement within the DeFi ecosystem and can also become the key to interoperability in the industry. This emerging trend may prove to be a more viable solution for the DeFi industry.

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Sani Abdul-Jabbar

Sani is the Board chair at VezTek, a Los Angeles based provider of software development and on-demand tech. talent for Blockchain and Web3.0 initiatives.