While there have been calls by the cryptocurrency community for the SEC to provide clearer regulation for the industry, one of the agency’s commissioners thinks otherwise.
SEC Does Not Need to Re-Invent the Wheel
Allison Lee, a Commissioner for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while appearing at a D.C. bar event on crypto regulation, has said that cryptocurrencies do not need a special set of rules.
According to Lee:
“Rather than pursuing approaches that would single out digital assets for special treatment under SEC regs – treatments that other asset classes don’t receive – in my view we should continue to work together to bring these emerging assets and markets into compliance.”
Lee’s comments come as the Gary Gensler-led SEC continues to field demands from both crypto proponents and government policymakers alike to come up with clearly defined laws for America’s cryptocurrency space.
As previously reported by CryptoPotato, the Commission appointed a new senior advisor for crypto oversight as part of efforts to come to grips with the modalities required for policing the U.S. cryptocurrency landscape.
There is, however, indications that crypto regulations might not be high on the Commission’s agenda especially given its focus on matters like meme stocks and going after retail trading outfits like Robinhood that practice payment for order flow (PFOF).
Gensler has, however, stated that the SEC plans to oversee the crypto space, focusing on diverse market segments like decentralized finance (DeFi), crypto lending, and token offerings, among others.
Indeed, crypto lending has come under significant scrutiny from both state and federal regulatory agencies in the United States. In October 2021, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced plans to shut down crypto lending providers that were offering services in the state.
Such was the regulatory scrutiny directed at the sector that exchange giant Coinbase was forced to pause the rollout of its lending service in September 2021.
Continued Clamor for Regulatory Clarity
Earlier in January, Gensler was asked if Ethereum was considered a security. The SEC Chair did not give a direct answer to the question, even though he mentioned back in 2018 that the second-largest crypto-asset would be seen as security.
Meanwhile, there is an ongoing legal battle between the SEC and blockchain company Ripple, with the regulator accusing the company of selling unregistered XRP tokens. Ripple, on the other hand, countered the SEC claim, stating that the XRP is not classified as a security.
Also, the SEC is yet to approve a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application in the United States. However, TV host Ric Edelman is optimistic that the agency could greenlight a spot bitcoin ETF within two years.