SEC Commissioner Caroline A. Crenshaw, speaking at the annual SEC Speaks conference, rejected the idea of a safe harbor for token issuances. Commissioner Crenshaw said that more crypto projects would have to register with the SEC. She mentioned that the views reflect her own and do not represent the agency or other SEC commissioners.
Crypto market requires a back and forth between innovators and regulators.
SEC commissioner’s emphasis was on the idea that the cryptocurrency market required a back and forth between innovators and regulators. Crenshaw is not at all opposed to the idea of cryptocurrencies themselves, even saying that the “technology and its potential are positive.” However, she questioned how securities laws could protect investors and hold violators accountable while highlighting how digital asset markets could be allowed to flourish without impacting traditional markets. After citing prior securities cases related to crypto, Crenshaw noted that very few cryptocurrency projects have registered with the SEC.
Crenshaw denies that a safe harbor for projects would not work.
Crenshaw denies that a safe harbor for projects, which would put them outside the SEC’s jurisdiction, would not work. As supporting arguments for this, she states that the fundraising model of ICOs is unnecessary and that network usage incentivization models are not always acted out in good faith. Consequently, she says a safe harbor would only generate more losses for investors, in turn hurting the market. The SEC Commissioner also spoke of investor protection — something the SEC has time and again spoken about on various occasions. The regulatory authority is concerned that deeper and wider access to the market may negatively affect uninformed investors.