SEC Ramping Up Cryptocurrency EffortsAdam Gardiner
Regulators around the world are taking an increasingly close look at cryptocurrencies, both well-established cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum as well as newer offerings such as initial coin offerings (ICOs). US regulators are no exception, with 2018 featuring perhaps more public commentary from regulators at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) than in all previous years combined. And regulators aren’t just talking, they’re acting. From state regulators taking on fraudulent ICOs to federal regulators forming working groups to spitball ideas for cryptocurrency regulation, more movement is being made towards creating a regulatory regime that will encompass cryptocurrencies and the firms that support them.
To that end, the SEC recently announced that the associate director of its Division of Corporate Finance will be taking the lead on coordinating SEC’s efforts at applying securities laws to cryptocurrencies and ICOs. As well as being named Associate Director of the Division of Corporate Finance, Valerie Szczepanik was also named Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation. Ms. Szczepanik is also the head of SEC’s Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group, Co-Head of SEC’s Dark Web Working Group, and a member of SEC’s FinTech Working Group.
That should tell you that SEC, and other federal regulatory agencies, are well aware of what’s going on in the world of cryptocurrencies. It’s only a matter of time before regulators start issuing new regulations about cryptocurrencies, or clarify the application of existing laws and regulations to cryptocurrencies.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has already made it clear that Bitcoin isn’t a security and won’t be subject to SEC regulation, which is really good news for Bitcoin IRA investors. While certain methods of investing in Bitcoin may be subject to federal regulation, such as purchasing or selling Bitcoin futures, investment vehicles such as Bitcoin IRAs shouldn’t be subject to any further regulatory scrutiny. Existing holders of Bitcoin IRAs can breathe a sigh of relief, and know that their investments will continue to work for them without interference from the government. So despite SEC stepping up its oversight of ICOs and cryptocurrencies, your Bitcoin IRA investment should be safe.