The SEC has filed a lawsuit against ethereum company Consensys, broadening its crackdown on the industry.

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Joseph Lubin, one of the creators of Ethereum and the Chief Executive Officer of blockchain company ConsenSys.

Riccardo Savi | Getty Images for Concordia Summit

The SEC has targeted crypto enterprise ConsenSys in its latest legal action as the agency intensifies its crackdown on the crypto market.

Accusing ConsenSys of “offering and selling securities” and operating as an unregistered broker via its digital asset wallet MetaMask, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the company in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday.

The court documents claim that “Consensys breached federal securities regulations by not registering as a broker and by not obtaining registration for certain securities sales.”

In an attempt to pre-empt the SEC’s move, ConsenSys, a firm that specializes in blockchain solutions, initiated its own lawsuit in Texas in April, alleging regulatory overreach. The company, which has been in operation for a decade, cited three subpoenas and a Wells notice from the SEC last year, accusing ConsenSys of violating federal securities laws.

Throughout this year, the SEC has taken various actions against numerous ethereum and decentralized finance-focused crypto companies like ShapeShift, TradeStation, and Uniswap. Additionally, reports suggest that the agency is conducting an investigation into the Ethereum Foundation.

Less than a fortnight ago, ConsenSys claimed a victory in its battle with the SEC.

According to a statement released on June 18, “The SEC’s Enforcement Division has informed us that they are closing their investigation into Ethereum 2.0 and will not be pursuing any regulatory action against ConsenSys.”

A representative from ConsenSys conveyed in an email statement on Friday that the SEC’s actions are part of an “anti-crypto agenda.”

“This is the most recent instance of regulatory overreach by the SEC — an evident effort to redefine established legal norms and enlarge the jurisdiction of the SEC through legal proceedings,” the company stated. “We firmly believe that the SEC does not have the authority to regulate software interfaces like MetaMask.”

The spokesperson added, “We will persist in presenting our case in Texas and defending against this new lawsuit in New York.”

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