SEC Crypto Regulations Need ‘Even Application,’ Says A16z’s Katie Haun

Speaking at CNBC’s investor summit, she also said regulations can’t be “one size fits all.”

Sep 29, 2021 at 11:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 30, 2021 at 1:25 p.m. UTC

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) general partner Katie Haun said the crypto industry isn’t opposed to regulation but it does need clarity from regulators.

“It’s not that the industry does not want regulation. I always say it wants clarity. But it also does not want to be treated as a monolith,” Haun told CNBC’s Kate Rooney during the annual Delivering Alpha investor summit hosted by the business television network. A16z raked in $2.2 billion in June to launch its third crypto fund, the largest crypto-related fund to date.

Haun, a former federal prosecutor who created the U.S. government’s first cryptocurrency task force, said regulators “need to assess the fact that we’re beyond just financial use cases” in crypto, and regulation “can not be one size fits all.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “has a place in this industry to regulate large portions of the industry. No question about that. There are increasingly larger portions of the industry that I don’t think fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction [that] might well fall under other regulatory bodies’ jurisdiction,” Haun said.

Asked to rate the performance of Gary Gensler, Haun declined to assign a grade to the SEC chairman. She reiterated her view that there’s a need for “even application” regarding regulations and said she remains “hopeful” that can happen under Gensler.

Haun serves on the board of Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and noted that the company filed to go public, the “absolute pinnacle” of regulation, and was still subject to SEC criticism. Last week, Coinbase dropped plans to launch a crypto lending product after the SEC threatened to sue.

“I think there is a sense on the part of some in the industry that those who were trying to make good faith efforts, who were going above and beyond in terms of compliance and what they thought was required … are the ones that are being examined under the microscope,” said Haun.

In recent weeks, Gensler said that most crypto trading platforms need to register with the SEC, and referred to stablecoins as “poker chips.” Earlier today, Gensler reiterated support for a narrow group of futures-based bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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