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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is holding a public forum today, focusing on distributed ledger technology (DLT or blockchain) and digital assets (or crypto assets). Topics included initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital asset platforms, DLT innovations, and how these impact investors and the markets. The forum is being organized by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) and was announced in connection with the launch of FinHub last year.
This comes at a time when criticism from the blockchain community of SEC is at a height. Fred Wilson, the co-founder of Union Square Ventures, had recently voiced his opinion that the regulatory body’s ruling to delist coins in the US cryptocurrency exchanges was very damaging. He believed that hostile policies would eventually drive away innovation from Silicon Valley, which is the “global epicenter of tech” to Asian countries. He tweeted,
“In 5-10 years when we look back and consider why the next big tech sector centered itself in Asia and not in the US, it will be the SEC’s unwillingness to create new rules to regulate new assets that will be the cause”. Citing Coinbase as an example, Wilson stated that the “most trusted/compliant/secure/safe” exchanges were based in the US. So, according to him, driving trading or liquidity to Asia is “detrimental to safety and security”.
Further on the defendcrypto.org site, he states “The SEC is regulating by enforcement, not new rulemaking, and worse, they have taken a divide and conquer strategy. It is time for the crypto industry to come together and fight back.”
The Finhub Forum presented an optimistic tone to bring innovation to US markets. Opening remarks by Valerie Szczepanik, Head, FinHub suggested a unique inflection point in time of the ”convergence of cloud computing, AI and blockchain driven by a globally sourced supercomputer”, a phenomenon I have previously written about. Commissioner Hester Peirce, talked about the importance of innovation in technology to democratize access to capital and entrepreneurs globally.
The question remains what will change going forward.
May 31, 2019 at 10:21AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs