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Crypto Lending Firms Celsius Network, Gemini Face SEC Scrutiny

  • Review focuses on whether offerings are securities, people say
  • High-yield products have sparked investor protection concerns
Alex Mashinsky, founder and chief executive officer of Celsius Network.
Alex Mashinsky, founder and chief executive officer of Celsius Network.Photographer: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing cryptocurrency firms Celsius Network, Voyager Digital Ltd. and Gemini Trust Co. as part of a broad inquiry into companies that pay interest on virtual token deposits, according to people familiar with the matter.

The SEC enforcement review focuses on whether the companies’ offerings should be registered as securities with the watchdog, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The firms are able to pay customers rates higher than most bank savings accounts by lending out their digital coins to other investors, a practice that the SEC and states including New Jersey and Texas have said raises concerns about investor protection.