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    Abra settles with fifth state as US operations may be winding down

    2024.03.29 | exchangesranking | 90onlookers
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    Cryptocurrency platform Abra and its CEO William Barhydt reached a settlement with the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, under which it will return assets held by Oregon users on the platform and cease and desist from offering unregistered securities in the state. This is the latest step in the United States-based company’s withdrawal from the U.S. market.

    Oregon is at least the fifth state to take action against the companies that make up the Abra ecosystem. The state of Oregon charged Abra with violations of state securities laws in connection with its interest-bearing crypto depository accounts Abra Earn and Abra Boost. It required Abra to advise all account holders in the state to remove their crypto assets from the platform. If it succeeds in returning all assets to Oregon customers by April 25, it will not be subject to a monetary penalty.

    In Oregon, 167 Abra customers have $32,387.14 on the platform. The state of Iowa settled with Abra and its CEO in February, and Abra agreed to return $6,426.90 to its approximately 39 customers in that state. It would avoid a penalty of $461,610.14 by fulfilling the conditions of the settlement by March 6.

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    Maryland took action against Abra in September 2023 on behalf of 162 Marylanders with balances totaling $700,000. Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown stated in the announcement:

    “Maryland has been participating in a working group of state securities regulators focused on interest-bearing crypto asset accounts.”

    This past January, Abra agreed in a settlement with the Texas State Securities Board to repay state residents their balances on the platform. That was the second action Texas had taken against Abra. In a June 2023 enforcement action, the Texas agency found that Abra had approximately 1,600 state residents on its platform with a balance of $1.8 million. It also claimed that Abra has been insolvent since March of that year, which was during the height of the banking crisis.

    Source: Bill Barhydt

    The California Commissioner of Financial Protection and Innovation issued a consent decree in April 2023 requiring Abra to close out Californians’ Earn accounts, worth $19 million.

    Abra said in a blog post in July that it was ending retail operations in the United States.

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