On March 9 and 10, 2019, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted a two-day event, the MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019. The conference was hosted by the student-run MIT Bitcoin Club and featured more than just Bitcoin voices from around the world in the industry. One of those voices was that of Hester Peirce, Commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Peirce sat down with Gary Gensler, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and senior advisor to the director of MIT Media Lab, to discuss the progress of the SEC's efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. In particular, Gensler and Peirce have launched a discussion on what regulators can do better to protect investors from fraud and malicious actors.
Before the debate began, both Gensler and Peirce expressed their appreciation for the emerging technology. "It's a new way to have tamper-resistant data in consensus among multiple parties," said Gensler. "My research is mainly about blockchain technology and … trying to figure out where the real use cases are, where traditional data structures do not work as well."
Peirce expressed her own support for the room regarding the SEC's ongoing efforts to ensure proper regulation. "We have rules for the books we need to enforce, but on the other hand, we do not want to stop people from doing things that make society a better place to make people's lives easier, and make people's lives easier and empower people to interact in ways they have not been able to do in the past. "
Later in the presentation, the two veteran regulators discussed what the government can do to protect investors by possibly regulating the exchange of crypto currency.
Gensler believes that "exchanges are the gateway to good public policy, especially in the area of AML legislation, but also in the area of investor protection."
The discourse was ongoing, and the most important step was that regulators such as Peirce and the SEC recognize that the current set of rules may not be perfectly applicable. How could securities-oriented rules be established for all cryptocurrencies, even those that are officially defined Not securities
According to Peirce, the SEC is working on a possible set of alternative rules for exchanges that do not violate the rules for listing unlisted securities. Bitcoin, which is not a security, falls neatly into this alternative ruleset. And although it is still unclear what that is exactly Precedents will be, Peirce's thoughts on the subject at MIT's recent Bitcoin Expo were nothing short of encouraging for the legal future of Bitcoin.
"People regulate each other in their interactions, and that's the whole purpose of the Bitcoin idea … that it would be that community that could self-regulate. When problems arise, people in the community are thinking about how to deal with these issues.
"I think these markets could self-regulate if we lived in a world that allowed it," added Peirce.
Peirce made similar remarks about the SEC's perception of the Bitcoin community's tendency for self-regulation in the past.
Gensler and Peirce also discussed the theme of the first coin deals (ICOs) and what is being done to give clarity to the participants in the once booming phase. Peirce said the SEC has already provided investors with clarity to start a business, raise funds from investors, and then distribute income in line with corporate performance. These individuals are subject to the existing securities rules for their tokens.
However, there are an infinite number of tokens that claim to be used as a utility on the network to which they belong, but start from an ICO in which they accept money from investors in return for those tokens. There is still a wealth of unanswered questions.
"There we have to do a better job there," Peirce said, "by giving instructions on how to change that from one to another." Finally, the SEC wants to remove the big gray cloud over the heads of the project.
Overall, the building-up theme of the entire discussion could be summarized through an exchange between Peirce and a participant of the audience, taking into account the current system that prevents equal opportunities in retail participation.
The audience asked, "It may be heated, but many of us are not independent, and we still believe that we can make good investment decisions. Currently we are excluded from participation. How can we move the laws of accredited investors away from asset thresholds and aim for something far more reasonable and accessible to mainstream investors? "
"The rules of our recognized investors … I personally believe that these rules are not in line with what this country is about," Peirce admitted. We've built this artificial barrier so people can not do it. "
Whether these opinions will be reflected in the legislation, time will tell. The entire MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019 live stream recording can be viewed here.
This article originally appeared in Bitcoin Magazine.
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Contribution Source: MIT Bitcoin: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Tech
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