SEC Causing ‘Confusion’ Over Digital Currencies in Legal Case With Ripple: WSJ Editorial Board

Regulators are “creating danger” for investors in their inconsistent approach to determining how to treat cryptocurrencies.

Apr 19, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:42 p.m. UTC

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board criticized the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in an editorial for causing “confusion” over its approach to cryptocurrency.

Regulators are “creating danger” for retail investors, as exemplified by the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple over its alleged issuance of native currency XRP as an unregistered security, according to the WSJ.

The findings in this case “have highlighted the inconsistency of the SEC’s approach,” in not treating bitcoin and ether as securities, for example.

Something of a watershed in the case emerged April 7 when Ripple was granted access to the SEC’s internal communications on how it determined whether a crypto is a security.

Exemptions had been announced previously for bitcoin and ether by the SEC through statements from former Chairman Jay Clayton, “with no formal rule-making,” according to the editorial.

This suggests that the SEC has not set clear rules about which currencies it feels it should regulate and which it does not.

“This confusion poses risks for investors,” the editorial says, which threatens to derail the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency as represented by Coinbase’s $86 billion public offering last week.


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