Six members of the United States congress have called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice to investigate Prometheum, claiming the firm has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
In a July 10 letter, Alabama Senator Thomas Tuberville and five members of the House of Representatives alleged Prometheum co-CEO Aaron Kaplan may have provided false testimony at a June 13 hearing on regulatory clarity in the crypto space. The U.S. lawmakers claimed Prometheum was connected to investors with “ties to the Chinese Community Party”: Shanghai Wanxiang Blockchain and HashKey Digital Asset Group.
According to Tuberville and the Representatives, Kaplan’s testimony before Congress suggested Prometheum had been developed independently of Wanxiang and HashKey, allegedly contradicting information the firm had provided in SEC filings. The lawmakers called on SEC chair Gary Gensler and Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into the matter.
— 1819 News (@1819News) July 10, 2023
Many lawmakers within the Republican party — which includes the six members who signed onto the July 10 letter — have often invoked concerns about affiliations with China-based entities or the country’s government in considering regulation or laws on digital assets. Former Senator Pat Toomey and Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer both issued warnings on using China’s digital yuan at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Cointelegraph reached out to Aaron Kaplan for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication. However, a June 23 Wall Street Journal op-ed by Aaron and co-CEO Benjamin Kaplan claimed Tuberville’s concerns on Prometheum’s alleged ties to China were “without merit” and relied on “out-of-date information”.
“We formally terminated all co-development work and strategic relationships with Wanxiang and its affiliates on Oct. 21, 2021,” said the Kaplans. “Prometheum has severed all intellectual property and technology ties to Wanxiang, giving it and its affiliates no access to any information that could expose the U.S. or its citizens to risk.”
The Prometheum co-CEO said the firm left the U.S.-based crypto advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce in early 2023.