Business

SEC loses heavy support for crypto industry


A regretted departureThis change at the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could further increase tensions between the institution and crypto companies.

The dry cryptosphere of allies within the SEC?

Elad Roisman who is one of the five board members of the Securities and exchange commission and known for its positions in favor of cryptocurrencies, said in a short press release dated December 20, 2021, having sent a letter to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, informing him of his decision to leave the Commission by the end of January 2022.

Elad L. Roisman

Roisman had referred to the need for the SEC to “review and re-examine its rules, regulations and guidelines” for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, when the man was a senior adviser to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.

He recently co-signed, with SEC Commissioner Heister Peirce, a letter criticizing SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who did not include in the institution’s regulatory agenda, the clarification of the legal framework governing cryptocurrencies. Roisman and Peirce believe the SEC “emboldens fraudsters and hinders conscientious participants who want to comply with the law” because of its inability to formulate clear rules for crypto investors.

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SEC and cryptocurrencies: vagueness and postponement

The announcement of Roisman’s imminent departure comes in a context of growing fed up with crypto companies, with regard to the SEC and its often incomprehensible decisions on the supervision of the latter’s activities.

Lawyers for Grayscale Investments have gone to the SEC for clarification of the agency’s decision to accept exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking bitcoin futures, but to refuse ETFs having bitcoin reserves as an underlyingwhich is a spot or spot ETF. This situation is problematic for Grayscale who wants to transform its BTC fund into a spot ETF.

The SEC seems to want to regulate cryptocurrencies to manage the risks to which investors are exposed, forgetting that it is also necessary that this regulation must also allow the development of the sector, and thus not distort the very basis of decentralized protocols. However, the institution seems to dream, for example, of domesticated decentralized finance (DeFi), trying to transpose the regulatory requirements of traditional centralized finance to the sector.

How to explain these positions of the SEC which are far from benefiting the development of cryptocurrencies? Does the Commission not understand the specificities of the latter? Its president, Gary Gensler, yet taught a blockchain course as a professor at MIT.

Crypto players exercise a lobby to try to counter certain cryptocurrency regulations. They will begin the year 2022 by losing a weighty ally in their war.

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