How far will it go?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), led by Chairman Gary Gensler, has been at the forefront of the United States’ cryptocurrency crackdown. In the last few months, the agency has filed several enforcement actions against major crypto companies that allegedly violated security laws.
Critics say the agency has adopted a regulation-by-enforcement approach without providing a proper set of rules that fit the unique features of crypto assets. A major source of confusion is the definition of a security and whether it can apply to a highly diverse set of assets such as cryptocurrencies.
Despite being pressured in a congressional hearing last week, Gensler seems unwilling to take on the political responsibility of entering a constructive dialogue with the industry.
For many crypto companies targeted by the SEC, the choice is between entering an expensive legal battle with the regulator or shutting down operations in the US and moving overseas. Most crypto companies will likely prefer saving millions of dollars in legal expenses and opt for the latter option.
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