During the TechCrunch conference, Disrupt, John Biggs, a writer at TechCrunch and Valerie A. Szczepanik, the Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation at the SEC spoke about the United States position in terms of cryptocurrency regulation.
The host of the discussion, John Biggs, questioned Valerie on whether the United States is catching up to the worldwide regulation and if the SEC is leading in this position.
Valerie said the US Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] is leading in terms of cryptocurrency regulation. She said that the even though the SEC brought a series of enforcement cases, they were enforced in a very impactful and deliberative way in cases which they considered that they were sending a message or stopping fraud.
She continued to say:
“We are actively engaging with entrepreneurs and practitioners through these meeting in a way that we’ve never seen before at the commission, it’s really an open door policy.”
The Senior Advisor of Digital Assets stated that the SEC is collaborating with different regulatory and law enforcement partners in the country and outside as well for matters concerning the cryptocurrency space. Valerie said:
“… and I think each jurisdiction has its own regime to deal with and its own laws to deal with and some jurisdictions are more discreet or they have one financial regulator for the entire ball of wax. Thats not the case in the United States.”
Valerie further added that in the United States, there are many financial regulators which the SEC deals with. She said that if she considers that the SEC is leading “the pack” [cryptocurrency regulation worldwide] and that other countries are looking into what the SEC is doing and vice versa in order to share knowledge. According to her, the SEC is trying to address the global issues and other issues in a “responsible way”.
She also spoke about whether it is a good idea to run an Initial Coin Offering [ICO] in the United States as a US company. Valerie said that a compliant way of raising money exists and that there are companies which approach the SEC to conduct an ICO.
These companies conduct an ICO by doing a registration statement or conduct an ICO pursuant to some valid exemption from the registration or in a way that their issuance is not a security. She said:
“The framework that we have in place has a lot of nuances and a lot and every ICO is really a facts and circumstances based kind of analysis under the securities laws. So I would encourage those people who were who are considering using an ICO to raise money to see competent securities counsel, or at least come and talk to the SEC”
Please Note: The statements made by Valerie A. Szczepanik, the Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation, represent her idea and does not necessarily her colleagues or any Commissioner.
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