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Why It’s Time Regulators Put Crypto on Notice

February 13
09:55 2018

When the White Rabbit was late in “Alice in Wonderland,” he rapidly scampered off to meet his appointed duties. In the wild and rapidly-evolving Wonderland of cryptocurrency, government regulators are quickly ramping up their efforts in fulfillment of their appointed duties, though the current regulatory framework still limits them in that regard.

That’s the clear takeaway from last week’s Senate Banking Committee hearing on cryptocurrency, where the heads of the two main financial market regulators testified.

If they weren’t already, cryptocurrency exchanges and promoters of initial coin offerings (ICOs) are now on notice: people who invest with them are entitled to be treated like all other investors in the U.S.

Exchanges that want to proclaim they are legitimate and that they follow all U.S. laws need to act like it when something goes wrong. ICO promoters who want to sell a product and raise funds by crowdsourcing crypto need to disclose all information accurately, transparently, and deliver on the product they sold.

If they don’t, they need to face the consequences of their actions.

I agree wholeheartedly with Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton’s public statements over the past few months criticizing ICOs and the people behind those fundraisers.

I believe every ICO I’ve seen is a security,” he told the Senate committee. It is almost as if he read my CoinDesk 2017 Year In Review article “I Love Bitcoin. That’s Why I Sue Exchanges,” wherein I said there has yet to be an ICO that did not perform that was not a security.

Clayton went on to condemn the promoters, attorneys and other related professionals who flout federal securities laws by putting the form of their offerings over the substance of what they really are: investments, stating, “We should regulate [ICOs] like we regulate securities offerings. End of story.”

Continue Reading at Coindesk

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