By Roslyn Layton. January 8, 2022. (Forbes).
Over the last two U.S. administrations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has promoted an all-encompassing policy of “regulation by enforcement” for U.S.-based digital asset markets like Coinbase and the enterprise blockchain industry that develops fintech solutions like Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar and Circle. Two successive chairmen – Jay Clayton and Gary Gensler – said that every digital asset except bitcoin is a security and should register at the SEC like a stock. The details end there, unless you end up on the wrong side of an SEC lawsuit. The SEC banks on a quick settlement from the parties it charges. Parties which dare to challenge the SEC need financial reserves, superstar lawyers, and years of patience for litigation to play out court. This “enforcement” produces little clarity for the market or protection of investors, which is the ostensible point of the regulatory exercise.