Is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ongoing war of attrition against the crypto industry a good use of tax money? Considering that the industry itself has, for years and years, been calling for intermediation by regulators you’d have to think yes. However, whenever such regulators attempt to reign in alleged bad actors, crypto’s unified band of participants, builders and commentators tend (with some exceptions) to revolt. It’s an odd thing.
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One thing is certain: SEC Chair Gary Gensler and his lead police enforcer SEC Director Gurbir Grewal consistently say their campaign of lawsuits is just. Speaking in the most recent regulatory escalation, a 90-page complaint filed against San Francisco-based exchange Kraken, Grewal said:
“We allege that Kraken made a business decision to reap hundreds of millions of dollars from investors rather than coming into compliance with the securities laws. That decision resulted in a business model rife with conflicts of interest that placed investors’ funds at risk.”
The SEC has a dual mandate, to facilitate capital formation in a safe and sound manner and protect the U.S. investing public by enforcing financial transparency through disclosures. So what do consumers actually think? Should crypto be regulated? Is the SEC’s manner of “regulating through enforcement” helpful?
CoinDesk asked members of the general public across three villages in southern Westchester just this, to take the temperature. And the responses — especially in light of the past couple years, where crypto was defined by the fraud, bankruptcies and declining prices reported on by the media — were mixed. Views on crypto and regulation were mixed.
Emma Sanchez, in Tuckahoe, for instance, didn’t have her mind made up on crypto itself but thought “regulation is a good thing,” at least generally speaking. While Jason D., who works at a local metals machining facility, said that crypto represents competition to established financial actors, and that’s essentially all you need to know about why regulators have taken…