Big Crypto is in the midst of a big reckoning. Following a series of spectacular crashes and implosions last year, two of the most powerful and profitable crypto companies still standing — Coinbase and Binance — were hit by lawsuits from US regulators on successive days this month. A third, Ripple Labs, is still fighting a case brought against it in 2020, having spent more than $100mn in legal bills so far.
It is not the most overt scam artists and conmen in cryptoland that are being targeted here (there are many of those around, but they tend to be relatively small fry). It is the companies that have done their utmost to look like legitimate businesses; the ones that have tried to make themselves palatable to regulators, Silicon Valley and politicians alike.