Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
Chinese crypto billionaire sued by SEC
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22 announced charges against Chinese blockchain personality and billionaire Sun Yuchen — better known as Justin Sun — and three of his wholly-owned companies: Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd., and Rainberry Inc., a firm formerly known as BitTorrent.
The complaint alleges that Sun and his companies “fraudulently” manipulated the secondary market for Tron (TRX) tokens through “extensive wash trading,” conducting more than 600,000 such trades, and also paid celebrities to promote TRX and BitTorrent (BTT) tokens with zero disclosure.
The SEC’s civil complaint earlier today is just the latest example of actions it has taken against well known players in the blockchain and crypto space. We believe the complaint lacks merit, and in the meantime will continue building the most decentralized financial system.
— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) March 23, 2023
Multiple prominent American celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jake Paul, were named as defendants for their alleged roles in promoting TRX and BTT without proper disclosure. Some have since settled with the SEC. In addition, the SEC alleges that bounty programs and airdrops used to promote TRX and BTT were unregistered investments. Gary Gensler, the chairman of the SEC, commented:
“As alleged, Sun and his companies not only targeted U.S. investors in their unregistered offers and sales, generating millions in illegal proceeds at the expense of investors, but they also coordinated wash trading on an unregistered trading platform to create the misleading appearance of active trading in TRX.”
Justin Sun is an active figure in the crypto industry who rose to prominence via the $70 million initial coin offering of Tron in 2017. The ICO was reportedly conducted one day prior to the…