Most cryptocurrencies are likely to be regulated as securities in the United States according to Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE) CEO Jeffrey Sprecher and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The renewed focus on regulating cryptocurrencies as securities comes in light of the recent FTX implosion, which wiped countless billions from the market, sent consumer funds into limbo and soured the reputation of crypto with regulators and officials.
Speaking Dec. 6 at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s financial services conference, Sprecher — whose ICE operates the New York Stock Exchange — said with confidence that crypto assets “are going to be regulated and treated like securities.” .
He argued that this would ultimately result in much greater consumer protection and regulatory oversight of centralized exchanges and brokers:
“What does this mean? It means more transparency, it means separate client funds, the role of the broker as a broker will be to oversee and exchanges will be separated from the brokers. Settlement and clearing will be separated Exchanges .”
Sprecher also argued that new regulation isn’t necessarily needed for crypto because the legal frameworks are already in place in terms of security and they’re “just going to be implemented more firmly.”
Senator Warren wants to crack the whip
Crypto skeptic Senator Elizabeth Warren is working on a crypto bill that would give the Gary Gensler-led Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) most of the regulatory authority over the crypto space.
According to a Dec. 7 report by online outlet Semafor, which cites two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Warren’s crypto bill is still in its early stages but aims to cover a host of issues, including taxation, regulation, national security and climate.
Warren would seek to impose regulatory requirements such as audited financial statements and bank-style capital requirements in particular.
Although specific details about the bill were not disclosed, Alex Sarabia, a spokesperson for Warren confirmed with Semafor that the senator is looking to the SEC.
“She works on crypto legislation and believes that financial regulators, including the SEC, have broad existing power to crack down on crypto fraud and illegal money laundering,” Sarabia said.
There has been a long-running debate among regulators over which crypto assets should fall into the category of a commodity or security, with Bitcoin (BTC) being the only asset to be unanimously considered a commodity. commodity due to its truly decentralized nature.
Related: US CFTC Commissioner Calls for New Category to Protect Small Crypto Investors
Ether (ETH) has also been considered a commodity at times, but with much more hindsight. Notably, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, recently revisited his view of ETH as a commodity during a speech at an invitation-only crypto event at Princeton University. . He now believes Bitcoin holds that status.
In the crypto world, MicroStrategy founder and bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor went even further, calling for essentially the shutdown of all non-BTC crypto assets, as he claimed they “commit securities fraud”.
During a Dec. 6 appearance on the PDB podcast, Saylor reiterated his view that assets such as Ripple (XRP), ETH, and Solana (SOL) are all unregistered securities because they were issued and controlled by centralized entities.
Painting a scenario he would like to see, the BTC maxi enthusiast noted that “the best thing for the world would be for the SEC to shut everything down.”
Twitter users of course mocked him for making such comments:
Imagine calling yourself a “Bitcoin Maximalist” and then calling something “unregistered security” which is something imposed by governments/nation states
Saylor is an embarrassment and is the furthest thing from a cypherpunk
— sassal.eth (@sassal0x) December 7, 2022
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