U.S. regulators are still looking into cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, but don't aim to suppress the industry, according to comments made during a panel at CoinDesk's Consensus 2018 conference in New York.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement director James McDonald, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division Cyber Unit chief Robert Cohen and associate deputy attorney general Sujit Raman participated in a panel discussion on enforcement activities in the space Tuesday. They were joined by Kiran Raj, chief strategy officer at crypto exchange Bittrex, with the panel moderated by attorney Steve Bunnell.
The government representatives, who disclaimed that they only spoke for themselves and not their respective agencies, notably all agreed that they did not want to hinder innovation or interfere unduly with blockchain or the tokens built on the nascent technology.
That said, they all also stated that they had to act against those seeking to defraud or outright steal from participants in the space.
Cohen and McDonald both said their agencies had "open-door policies" for those trying to launch token sales, with Cohen explaining:
On actually regulating the space, McDonald noted:
Raman similarly cited a need to protect Americans as the focus for any actions taken by the Department of Justice, saying:
When asked about his concerns, Bittrex's Raj pointed to a lack of regulatory clarity surrounding token sales:
McDonald agreed, saying:
However, Cohen said the SEC has released guidance on tokens, saying:
For those who do seek to defraud others, Cohen said:
Panel image by Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk (Kiran Raj, @CFTC's James McDonald, @SEC_News' Robert Cohen, @TheJusticeDept's Sujit Raman and Steve Bunnell)
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