Thursday, March 4, 2021

Cryptocurrency outlook #4

Joe Biden picks Gary Gensler as SEC Chair. Fox Business and comment on the possible effects on government regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Fox: "If bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were deemed to be securities, they would fall under the purview of the SEC. Exchanges that facilitate the trading of such cryptocurrencies would also need to have the appropriate investor protections in place," Gensler said (my bold).

"He pointed to improvements in the areas of payments systems, trade finance, and medical-records technology as areas where blockchain has proven useful. Gensler is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and teaches about blockchain." Gensler clarified: “To the extent that somebody is offering an investment contract or security that’s under the SEC’s remit, and they have exchanges that operate there, then we have to make sure there’s investor protection” (my bold).

On the other hand, “If it’s not that, and it’s a commodity, as bitcoin has been deemed to be, then it’s either a question for Congress … or it’s possibly a question for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” he described (my bold).

Furthermore, the professor also said that the SEC must ensure that crypto markets “are free of fraud and manipulation.”

This is an example of whether or not x falls under the concept X in the context of government regulation. Whether it does or not can have significant consequences. Maybe x falls under both. For cryptocurrencies there is one concept - investment contract or security - for the SEC and another - commodity - for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

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