The U.S. Regulators states They Want to Avert ‘Hindering’ Blockchain Innovation
May 16, 2018 1:34 pm
We want to avoid ‘hindering’ Blockchain Innovation says the U.S. Regulators
Mr. James McDonald Enforcement Director at Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Mr. Robert Cohen Enforcement Division Cyber Unit at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and associate deputy attorney general Mr. Sujit Raman participated in a panel debate on enforcement activities in the space Tuesday. They were joined by crypto exchange Bittrex’s chief strategy officer Kiran Raj, with the panel moderated by attorney Mr. Steve Bunnell.
The government representative, who denied that they only spoke for themselves and not their respective agencies, distinctly all agreed that they don’t want to hinder innovation or interface with blockchain or the tokens built on the nascent technology.
They all further said that they had to act against those trying to defraud or outright steal participants in the space.
Mr. Robert Cohen and Mr. James McDonald both said their agencies had “open-door policies” for those aspiring to start token sales, with Robert Cohen describing:
“The Security Exchange Commission has been open about meeting with people from the industry, to come in and meet with the team, to talk about the plans you have, the new developments, and discuss the new technology. The commission encourages ways to raise capital; we don’t regulate the technology – we regulate the financial industry and the markets.”
On really regulating the space, James McDonald wrote:
“Our mission is to encourage financially sound markets, and we understand as a regulator that needs a specific amount of flexibility in our approach. We are doing it in a way that doesn’t hamper innovation and doesn’t interfere with other regulatory priorities.”
Sujit Raman similarly mentioned a need to protect Americans as the focus of any actions taken by the Department of Justice, stating:
“The number one preference for the Department of Justice is to keep people safe. One concern we have for the larger digital currency space is large sums of money are floating through the market without touching financial institutions from a national security perspective or an anti-money laundering perspective, that’s something we have to examine. As with anything else, it’s a balance, but it’s surely one of our priorities, to know what’s going on.”
Bittrex’s Kiran Raj pointed to an absence of regulatory clarity encompassing token sale:
“One of the big pieces of feedback I get is we need more faith. One of the first things we get is we overhear about deception we agree we don’t want them in the industry. The difficulty is how do we take guidance and apply it to what you’re doing when it’s so far away from what the scam people are doing?”
James McDonald agreed, stating:
“LabCFTC is providing their expertise to make sure we end up in the best place possible. We’re careful not to be putting ourselves out there in the same way that the policy divisions would be, but the policy divisions are having conversations with market participants.”
But, Robert Cohen said the SEC had released guidance on tokens, stating:
“The primary concern is whether the token or whatever asset you have is a security, and the commission has put guidance on that. If a company or person is making a good-faith effort to comply with the law, and one step to that is if they’re talking to regulators, we’ll work with them.”
For those who do seek to deceive others, Robert Cohen stated:
“It’s clear when people are not making good-faith efforts to comply, and that’s when we step in.”