Shows opinion in the midst of lawsuit against Coinbase et al.
Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), attended a fintech-related conference on the 8th and reiterated the regulatory policy for crypto assets (virtual currencies).
The SEC has just sued major cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Binance for providing unregistered securities. Regarding this, while counterarguments are raised from both exchanges and others, the SEC’s view is emphasized again.
Gensler said the SEC has already issued guidelines on what is considered a security. As an example, he cited the SEC staff’s 2019 Framework for Analysis of ‘Investment Contracts’ for Digital Assets.
Lawsuits and court rulings settled by the SEC with various companies also shed light on when token offerings and sales are securities.
Mr. Gensler said that according to the Howie test, “investment contracts exist where funds are invested in public companies with a reasonable expectation that they will profit from the efforts of others.”
Furthermore, in the Howie decision, the court stated that the definition of an investment contract is “not a fixed principle, but a flexible one that can be adapted to the myriad frameworks devised by those seeking funds to use for business and other purposes.” He also pointed out that he said that
Gensler explained that cryptocurrency staking is also a security.
Customers invest their assets in the platform, and the platform either rents them out or pools and stakes them, in each case promising a return. Such structures are considered classic securities regardless of the cryptocurrency world.
What is a howie test
A test that determines whether a particular transaction falls under one of the securities trading definitions of an “investment contract” in the United States. Derived from the SEC’s lawsuit against WJ Howey. Although this itself is not legally binding, the SEC has taken legal action against multiple ICOs (token sales) based on this test.
On the other hand, the cryptocurrency industry, legislators who support it, and some members of the SEC say that the standards that the SEC has presented are unclear, and that the SEC is cracking down without providing clear guidelines. There are situations where voices of criticism have risen.
Republican lawmakers earlier this month unveiled a draft bill to clarify crypto regulation, calling for debate. The draft provides a clear definition of when a token project is sufficiently decentralized to be no longer an investment contract.
connection: U.S. Congressmen announce bill to clarify cryptocurrency regulations
Highlighting Allegations Against Binance
In his speech, Gensler specifically pointed out the fraudulent practices of Binance. In its complaint, the SEC alleges that Binance covered up manipulative trading by its operators and affiliated market makers.
Gensler referred to the content of the complaint, saying that Binance and its CEO, Changpong Zhao (CZ), transferred billions of dollars of Binance’s customer funds through accounts owned and managed by Merit Peak, a corporation controlled by CZ. It also claims that it was mixed with the account funds of “Limited”.
connection: US SEC sues Binance and Mr. CZ Claiming many virtual currency stocks as securities
Gensler also expressed concern that the crypto industry has seen cases where functions such as exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearings are all performed by a single company.
Separating core functions, like other stock markets, will limit problems that can arise from such a mix of services, he said.
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