The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been on the receiving end of strong criticisms over its handling of the blockchain and cryptocurrency regulations in the country. Because the United States is expected to be a hub of innovation, observers across the world also expect new and emerging technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency to be encouraged by favorable regulations in the country. But it appears this has not been the case.
In bitcoin and cryptocurrency news today, a top official of the SEC has come out to defend the agency’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation in the United States while highlighting pro-crypto moves made by the commission to show it has been fair to cryptocurrency.
SEC Laws Are Written to be Dynamic – Cryptocurrency News Today
Senior United States SEC official Amy Starr, who is in charge of the office of capital markets trends at the commission, said recently that the securities regulator is willing to interact with the cryptocurrency industry which could lead to favorable policies towards the industry. The official spoke on Monday, May 13 at a panel session during Consensus 2019, a cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Fintech conference organized by Coindesk.
During the session titled “Perspectives on SEC engagement concerning digital assets,” Starr explained that securities laws are written to be dynamic adding that there is a high level of interaction between the SEC and the cryptocurrency community contrary to common assumptions.
As Smartereum reported, the SEC through the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) reached out to the cryptocurrency and the broader fintech community to engage in “local peer-to-peer” meetings starting from the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office (SFRO).” Starr pointed to this initiative and other similar interactions stating that it shows the agencies willingness to better understand how securities laws can be applied in various scenarios relating to blockchain and cryptocurrency.
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Some of these scenarios are the xrp security status, the ethereum securities status and in fact the security status of ICO tokens. Earlier this year, the co-founder of Circle, the fintech firm backed by Goldman Sachs accused the commission of lacking clarity over how to define various crypto assets.
Furthermore, the Sec was accused of hindering the development of cryptocurrency in the country through what Michael Arrington, the Founder of the technology news outlet, Tech Crunch called a “total disaster” in the same vein described SEC’s approach as Limitless Power Grab approach towards cryptocurrency and “burdensome”. There are also indications that the SEC may have asked firms listing investment vehicles to remove blockchain descriptions in other not to confuse investors.
Starr, however, defended the agency’s stance saying it was making efforts to integrate cryptocurrency community in its policies. “The more interaction, and willingness that people want to engage with us, the happier we are because we want this to work. We want there to be innovation in these markets. We want there to be change,” Starr told the audience.
Starr’s statement comes on the background of a bad perception of SEC as the major hindrance to cryptocurrency development and investment in the United States. U.S. SEC Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Valerie Szczepanik recently suggested that projects that seek to raise funds through initial exchange offering tokens for a fee could run foul regulatory laws.
Pro crypto SEC commissioner Hester Pierce, nicknamed “crypto mum” also spoke at the event. She encouraged crypto actors to adopt self-regulatory measures and other internal regulations between industry participants. In her words, cryptocurrency players should police one another adding that “testing each other is really healthy.” “[A] lot of regulation can happen without a government regulator,” she noted.