(BlockBar) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will convene its first FinTech Forum Friday, discussing a range of issues related to digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT).
It is to be noted that many crypto firms are not happy with the guidelines issued by the SEC. According to a crypto startup Circle the SEC had issued confusing guidance. The firm’s Director William Hinman emphasized in a speech that decentralization as a key factor in determining whether a token is a security, and a more recent framework, which did not mention decentralization.
Messaging platform Kik has also recently made headlines with a $5 million fund to “defend crypto” from regulatory overreach. The crowdfunding campaign is aimed at helping companies (including Kik) fight court cases against the SEC, should the regulator sue them for securities violations.
It is worth noting that many of the panelists are experts in their respective fields, few are from actual crypto startups or firms that would immediately benefit from greater clarity.
According to Kevin Werbach, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: “It’s impossible to come up with an agenda for an event like this that represents everyone in the industry.”
Werbach said that startups can engage with Finhub – the SEC’s fintech-focused wing – through other means as well.
Lawyer Jay Baris of Shearman & Sterling said that the mere fact that the SEC is engaging with the crypto industry at all is promising. He said that the SEC is opening a two-way communication flow: market participants are able to express their views, but the SEC is also able to explain why it is approaching regulation the way it is.
In any event, calling on regulators to clarify rules around crypto may not be the best avenue for the industry.
Circle’s blog post concurred. The company said it had been educating policymakers both within the U.S. and other jurisdictions about “why digital assets represent a fundamentally new class of financial instrument.”
Congress needs to pass laws directly addressing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, lest the U.S. be left behind by other nations, the blog post said. However, until new laws are passed, Circle said it intends to continue advocating before regulators.