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 off the market, put consumer funds in limbo, and soured cryptocurrency’s reputation among investors. regulators and officials.
Speaking at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s financial services conference on Dec. 6, Sprecher, whose ICE operates the New York Stock Exchange, confidently stated that crypto assets “will be regulated and treated like securities.”
He argued that this will ultimately result in increased consumer protection and regulatory oversight of centralized exchanges and brokers:
“What does that mean? It means more transparency, it means segregated client funds, the role of the broker as a broker will be oversight and the exchanges will be separate from the brokers. Settlement and clearing will be separate from the exchanges.”
Sprecher also argued that new regulation for cryptocurrencies was not necessarily required, as the legal frameworks already exist in terms of securities and “they will just be implemented more forcefully.”
Senator Warren wants to crack the whip
Crypto skeptic Senator Elizabeth Warren is working on a crypto bill that would reportedly give the Gary Gensler-led Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) most regulatory authority over the crypto space.
According to a Dec. 7 report by online news outlet Semafor, citing two unnamed sources close to the matter, Warren’s cryptocurrency bill is still in its early stages, but aims to cover a number of issues that they include taxes, regulation, national security, and weather.
Warren is said to be seeking to impose regulatory obligations such as audited financial statements and capital requirements similar to those of banks in particular.
While no specific details about the bill were released, Alex Sarabia, a spokesperson for Warren, confirmed with Semafor that the senator is looking to the SEC.
“She is working on crypto legislation and believes that financial regulators, including the SEC, have broad existing authority to crack down on crypto fraud and illegal money laundering,” Sarabia said.
There has been a long debate among regulators as to which crypto assets should fall into the category of a commodity or a security, with Bitcoin (BTC) being the only asset that is unanimously considered a 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 discussed as a commodity at times, but with much more pushback. Notably, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) head Rostin Behnam recently backtracked on his view that ETH is a commodity while speaking at an invite-only crypto event at Princeton University. . He now believes that Bitcoin has that status.
In the crypto world, MicroStrategy founder and Bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor has gone a step further by essentially calling for all non-BTC cryptocurrency assets to be shut down, as he argued that they are “committing fraud of values”.
During a Dec. 6 appearance on the PDB Podcast, Saylor reiterated his view that assets like XRP (XRP), ETH, and Solana (SOL) are all unregistered securities, as they were issued and controlled by centralized entities.
Painting a scenario he would like to see, the fervent BTC maxi noted that “the best thing for the world would be for the SEC to shut everything down.”
Twitter users have, 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 national governments/states.
Saylor is a shame and is the furthest thing from a cypherpunk
— sassal.eth (@sassal0x) December 7, 2022