Crypto Firm Abra Settles With US States To Repay $82 Million To Customers

Crypto Firm Abra Settles With US States To Repay $82 Million To Customers

By: Isha Das

Crypto investment platform Abra and its CEO, William 'Bill' Barhydt, have reached a significant settlement with 25 US state regulators due to unlicensed crypto trading services. As per a recent update from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the firm will repay up to $82 million to affected customers without facing further monetary penalties, which amounted to $250,000 per state. Abra will also cease accepting crypto allocations from US customers and refund their balances.

Additionally, Barhydt has agreed to refrain from participating in any money services business requiring state licensing for the next five years, although he may remain involved as a passive investor. Barhydt is noted to be Abra's largest equity owner. Washington was the first state to publish a consent order indicating that 706 users in the state are owed a combined balance of $116,000.78, with $13.6 million already returned to customers.

The settlement involved key states such as Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont, with more states expected to issue consent orders soon. In light of these developments, Abra will wind down its operations in the US but will continue serving its institutional clients through Abra Capital Management, which is registered with the SEC. Operations outside the US remain unaffected.

As part of a broader crackdown, the Texas State Securities Board issued an emergency cease-and-desist order against Abra related to its interest-bearing products, leading to a settlement in January. New Mexico’s securities regulator reached a similar settlement in April. For more details on the settlement, you can visit Washington DFI and Reuters.

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