SEC Is 'Completely Out Of Control,' Says a16z Crypto's Head of Policy

At the annual Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, representatives from crypto companies argued the lack of regulatory clarity would stifle US innovation.

AccessTimeIconMar 14, 2023 at 6:26 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 14, 2023 at 10:13 p.m. UTC

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA — Crypto industry players ramped up the heat towards regulators Tuesday afternoon at the annual Futures Industry Association conference for what they see as failing to provide an adequate regulatory framework for the novel asset class.

Over the past several weeks, regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unveiled a slew of enforcement actions against crypto companies in what many industry players view as an hostile attack on crypto and U.S. innovation, saidd Brian Quintenz, a former Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner and current head of policy at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

“The SEC is completely out of control. They’re going rogue,” Quintenz said.

A lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Leticia James last week against crypto exchange KuCoin alleged that ether (ETH) was an unregistered security. If proven in court, it would place the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap under the purview of the SEC.

“The United States has to make a decision about whether or not it will embrace and support innovators in this country,” said Quintenz during an afternoon panel. “There are jurisdictions that are mindful about this. That is not what we are seeing in the United States, and the clock is ticking.”

Another panelist, CoinFund President Chris Perkins, added that jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom were ahead of the United States in terms of progress.

“We try to advise our founders about regulatory risk, but it’s hard without regulatory clarity,” added Perkins. “Other countries are not waiting for us.”

Many industry players have now turned towards a potential legislative solution with support from both Democrats and Republicans.

“There aren’t many issues where you’ll see [Rep.] Ritchie Torres [D-N.Y.] agreeing with [Sen.] Ted Cruz [R-Texas],” said Perkins.

“I see bipartisan interest, and that gives me hope,” said Julia Hueckel, associate general counsel at Coinbase.


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