The Top 5 Crypto Regulation Moments of 2023

The year 2023 marked a turning point with significant regulatory developments that sent shockwaves through the industry.

Here, we delve into the top 5 crypto regulation moments that shaped the landscape of 2023. Each contributes to the ongoing conversation about the role of regulation in the crypto space.

  1. SEC’s Staking Crackdown

Rumors circulated about the U.S. SEC taking a keen interest in staking. The drama reached its peak when Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong voiced concerns on social media, hinting at the SEC’s desire to eliminate crypto staking for U.S. retail customers.

The storm materialized with the SEC announcing a $30 million settlement with Kraken over its U.S. staking program. Kraken was compelled to halt its U.S. staking operations. Signaling a clear message from regulators that staking activities would face heightened scrutiny. This crackdown raised questions about the future of staking in the U.S. and prompted the industry to reevaluate its compliance strategies.

  1. SEC Wages War Against Stablecoins

Stablecoins, typically considered a stable and compliant facet of the crypto ecosystem, found themselves in the crosshairs of U.S. regulators in 2023. The SEC pursued legal action against two issuers, with Paxos being ordered to cease issuing Binance’s BUSD. This move, initiated by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and a Wells Notice from the SEC, powered regulatory measures against stablecoins.

The regulatory scrutiny raised concerns about the future of stablecoin projects and the need for a clear regulatory framework to ensure their stability and compliance with existing laws.

  1. CFTC Makes Its Mark: DeFi Under the Regulatory Microscope

In September, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) made its presence felt. The CFTC’s enforcement actions targeted decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols in the U.S. This generates a shadow over the decentralized space.

Charges were levied against three protocols for illegally facilitating leveraged and margined retail commodity transactions. Deridex and Opyn faced additional charges for failure to register with the CFTC and implement customer identification programs. This move by the CFTC raised crucial questions about the regulatory future of DeFi in the U.S.

  1. SEC Comes After Crypto Exchanges

Crypto exchanges faced unprecedented challenges in 2023. Signs of trouble surfaced early in the year when Coinbase revealed it had received a Wells Notice from the SEC. This gives a potential enforcement action for violations of federal laws. In June, the SEC launched back-to-back lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance, accusing them of operating unregistered securities exchanges.

The legal battles added fuel to the ongoing debate about the regulatory status of crypto exchanges. Also, the industry needs a regulatory framework that balances innovation with investor protection.

  1. Binance Settles, CZ Faces Time

U.S. regulators delivered a Thanksgiving surprise with criminal charges against Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. CEO Changpeng Zhao (C.Z.) stepped down, facing a potential 18-month prison sentence. Binance agreed to pay a staggering $4.3 billion fine as part of the settlement, emphasizing the high stakes of regulatory non-compliance.

This landmark case raised concerns about the fate of other major exchanges and highlighted the importance of regulatory compliance for industry leaders. Binance’s settlement marked a pivotal moment in the crypto regulatory landscape, underscoring the necessity for clear guidelines and adherence to existing laws.


The regulatory developments of 2023 reshaped the crypto landscape, emphasizing the need for a balanced and comprehensive regulatory framework. The events of this year catalyze ongoing discussions about the intersection of innovation, decentralization, and regulatory compliance.

The information discussed by Altcoin Buzz is not financial advice. This is for educational, entertainment, and informational purposes only. Any information or strategies are thoughts and opinions relevant to the accepted levels of risk tolerance of the writer/reviewers and their risk tolerance may be different than yours. We are not responsible for any losses that you may incur as a result of any investments directly or indirectly related to the information provided. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are high-risk investments so please do your due diligence. Copyright Altcoin Buzz Pte Ltd.


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