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January 25, 2023

The SEC’s Excellent Record on Crypto: Regulation and Enforcement

Better Markets released a report entitled “The SEC’s Excellent Record on Crypto: Regulation and Enforcement”:

Why It Matters. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been subject to withering and relentless criticism—often hypocritical—from the crypto industry and its many allies, particularly in Congress but also in the media. That criticism has largely been fact free and baseless, ignoring if not lying about the SEC’s mission, practices, constraints, and multi-part strategy to uphold the rule of law.  Our report details the facts of what the SEC has actually done and why it has been as effective as possible under the circumstances.

What We Said. The attacks on the SEC are remarkable given it is merely trying to get the crypto industry to comply with laws and rules that all other law-abiding companies in the U.S. already comply with. Those laws and rules require customer, investor and financial stability protections which form the foundation of the U.S. capital markets and securities industry.  That’s what engenders investors’ trust and confidence in U.S. markets and why they are the broadest, deepest, most liquid, and desirable capital markets in the world.  That facilitates capital and business formation which fuels the U.S. economy, jobs, growth and standard of living.

That’s why the sale and trading of unregistered securities without customer, investor and financial stability protections is illegal and why the SEC is mandated to stop it.  Unfortunately, the crypto industry has knowingly chosen to break the law as a business strategy and to fight the SEC with a ferocity that is unusual if not unprecedented.  The meritless attacks by the industry’s allies have only compounded those difficulties.  That has dramatically increased the time and resources the SEC has had to devote to regulating and policing crypto, which is happening at a time when the SEC’s funding is inadequate, with staffing levels today at or below 2016 levels.

Bottom Line.  The SEC has an excellent track record on regulating and enforcing the law on the crypto industry.  For those interested in stopping the crypto crime wave, rather than pushing crypto-friendly legislation, they should surge resources to the SEC and adequately fund its important mission to protect investors and markets.

The report is available here.



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