The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently imposed a $1.7 million fine on decentralized finance protocol BarnBridge DAO for illegally selling unregistered securities.
However, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce pushed back against her agency’s decision, voting against the enforcement action.
BarnBridge DAO agreed to return nearly $1.5 million in proceeds from the sale of its SMART Yield bonds. The company’s founders, Tyler Ward and Troy Murray, also agreed to pay $125,000 each in fines.
The SEC said BarnBridge violated securities laws by offering and selling structured crypto products to retail investors without proper registration.
“The use of blockchain technology for the unregistered offer and sale of structured finance products to retail investors runs afoul of the securities laws,” said SEC enforcement director Gurbir Grewal.
Peirce, however, disagreed with fining Ward and Murray individually. She voted against the SEC’s action and said she may write a formal dissent.
Peirce has previously criticized the SEC for being too passive on crypto regulation and failing to provide clear guidance to the industry.