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The SEC is Making Serious Blockain Moves

Blockchain Author Alex Tapscott and Firm Fined by SEC Fines for Securities Violations

Up till now, the saying ‘better days ahead’ has been a mantra in the cryptosphere. From violent price swings to stiff regulatory laws, crypto users have had to keep hope alive that the world would see what they did and let the sector thrive. The crypto community can finally look up, as better days are here.

The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly making plans to begin an “enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data.” It may not be the most an outright announcement of crypto acceptance, but this is a sure sign that the regulatory body is finally considering an even-handed, objective approach to digital asset regulation, and we’re all for it.

The notice, which was released on the FedBizOpps site, read:

“The United States Securities and Exchange Commission…intends to procure a commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data to support its efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets.”

Amid the erratic price drops on the market this week, this is sure a sight for sore crypto eyes.

According to the Request For Quote that accompanied the announcement, the SEC is interested in data on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, along with other major chains. This is in a bid to help the agency craft regulations that “monitor risk” and “improve compliance.”

SEC’s Hate Love Relationship with Crypto

It’s common knowledge that the SEC has not been friendly towards cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency exchanges. A quick glance at the regulations they have imposed on bitcoin trading in the past is solid proof of that claim. The Securities and Exchange Commission is the most important regulator for the biggest capital market in the world, yet the body has struggled with the question of how to regulate cryptocurrencies for more than two years, yet it’s been more than ten years since the advent of Bitcoin.

The SEC has a mandate to bring actions against entities that issue securities without registering the offering, yet for a long time, the Commission failed to provide any reliable guidance as to which criteria it uses to determine whether a token qualifies as a security.

A lot of ICOs were launched in this gray period, and the SEC posed quite a huge stumbling block in the path of nascent cryptocurrency exchanges. When the SEC finally released guidance as to their own differences between tokens and securities, the 40-point list didn’t help much in clarifying the matter for most cryptocurrency exchanges and coin issuers.

Even some of the SEC’s own staff, Commissioner Hester Peirce, criticized the long-awaited guidance and warned that the restrictive climate could discourage the growth of the budding crypto sector in the US. It turned out that Peirce was right- as many major industry players including Binance and Circle blocked US IP addresses from using their platforms.

Innovative voices like Peirce’s may or may not have had anything to do with the new change in the stride of the SEC towards crypto, but they cryptosphere would definitely breathe a sigh of relief if the SEC joins the crypto party. But then, going by a recent International Data Corporation study, government spending on blockchain technology will grow significantly in the coming years. Maybe the SEC just decided not to miss out on that party too.

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      Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.