SEC Doesn’t Regulate Crypto Directly, but Indirectly; Says Levine

  • He talked about the creativity of the SEC, in indirectly regulating the crypto sector.
  • The categorization of tokens and interest-bearing accounts into securities is also discussed in the article.

Matt Levine, the Bloomberg Opinion Columnist, published an article on February 7, analyzing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) crypto regulatory policies.

Notably, the Chinese reporter Colin Wu, on his official Twitter account shared the article, highlighting the perspectives of Levine on SEC’s crypto regulations:

Significantly, Levine focused on the authority the SEC holds to regulate or to invent regulatory procedures over the crypto sector. Also, he talked about the power of the “regulatory investment advisors to indirectly regulate cryptocurrencies”.

Interestingly, Levine exemplified the SEC’s power with the categorization of tokens as “securities”, commenting:

The SEC argues that when crypto project issues tokens to fund its development, those tokens are almost always securities: Other than a few grandfathered tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, most tokens are going to be securities subject to SEC jurisdiction.

In addition, the SEC also entitles the “interest-bearing crypto accounts- lending and staking products”- as securities. In detail, he explained that if a crypto exchange holding BTC is paying the interest of the coin, then the account is also considered security compliant to the SEC jurisdiction.

Further, Levine commented about the SEC’s creativity, claiming the Commission does not regulate crypto but has launched “a pretty comprehensive offensive to take over crypto regulation”:

The SEC does not “regulate crypto”. In US law, at least some cryptocurrencies- the big ones, like Ether and Bitcoin – are classified as commodities not subject to SEC jurisdiction.

It is noteworthy that Levine pointed out the SEC’s use of its authority to investment advisors to indirectly create crypto regulations. In specific, as investment funds are under the control of the SEC, the crypto would also be subjected to its jurisdiction.

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