Former SEC Advisory Committee Member Condemns SEC Chair’s “Abuse of Digital Assets”


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Tobias Lewis

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Associate professor of blockchain law labeled the SEC’s crypto regulation an “abuse of digital assets”

A former SEC Advisory Committee member has called current SEC regulation “ridiculous” and claimed that, as chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler has “abused” digital assets. This exchange between Verret and Gensler took place during a meeting last week as Verret’s term on the Advisory Committee was coming to an end.

Upon leaving the SEC’s Advisory Committee, J.W. Verret, an associate professor of blockchain law, asked the SEC to “open public comment with respect to digital asset regulation,” in order to promote digital asset freedom and more transparency. Verret is a holder of Bitcoin, Ether and a variety of other tokens and has expressed concern over the SEC’s seemingly arbitrary application of securities laws and flawed use of the Howey Test.

Verret labeled the current SEC attitude a “cookie-cutter” approach using outmoded securities laws that do not adequately reflect the uniqueness of digital assets. At the same time, however, he expressed the general desire of the community for standardized regulation to, presumably, avoid scenarios such as the SEC-Ripple lawsuit. Elsewhere he has stated that he believes Ripple “has the better end of this case.”

Verret, in his Genesis Block proposal, continues to call for an open and honest conversation between the SEC and digital assets holders about how best to regulate this burgeoning financial industry. In particular, he is encouraging digital assets holders to write to the SEC and express their concerns. In response to Verret’s concerns, Gensler said that his proposals always “inform the debate,” and he hoped that Verret would continue to be in dialogue with the SEC even after his departure.

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