Crypto Execs Should Cooperate With Regulators, Says SALT Panel

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In Brief
  • Cryptocurrency executives ought to work with regulators to facilitate wider acceptance, according to members of a digital currency panel at Wall Street's SALT conference.

  • Canadian business mogul Kevin O'Leary urged company leaders to adopt a more accommodating tone with regulators.

  • These comments come in light of increased regulatory scrutiny on cryptocurrencies and exchanges globally.

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Cryptocurrency executives ought to work with regulators to facilitate wider acceptance, according to members of a digital currency panel at Wall Street’s SALT conference.

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The panel included Canadian business mogul from business reality TV show “Shark Tank,”  Kevin O’Leary, who recently invested in a crypto aggregating platform WonderFi. He urged company leaders to adopt a more accommodating tone with regulators. O’Leary emphasized that the current lack of compliance is spooking investors away. 

The Canadian businessman added that having approval from the government would eliminate barriers to entry. To demonstrate this point, O’Leary cited the recent launch of the world’s first crypto exchange-traded fund in Canada, which has attracted huge inflows.

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Additionally, CEO of blockchain-based payment platform Circle Jeremy Allair believes that  new products in the space should fit a regulatory model. Allair said that having a framework would reduce risk and encourage wider adoption.

Coinbase’s case 

These comments come in light of increased regulatory scrutiny on cryptocurrencies and exchanges globally. Moreover, in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission under new Chairman Gary Gensler has been crystallizing its stance on crypto regulation. It has yet to approve a crypto-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), while Gensler believes that most crypto exchanges need to register with the SEC. He has also asked Congress for more authority to regulate the industry.

Just last week, the SEC issued a warning to Coinbase, threatening to sue the largest exchange in the US if it launches its “Lend” product. The Coinbase Lend project would allow its clients the ability for interesting earning on their crypto holdings. However, the SEC believes that the product would qualify as a security and fall under its jurisdiction, requiring registering before any sale. Coinbase expressed confusion over the warning and replied to the regulator asking for further clarification.

Notably, billionaire Mark Cuban’s response was at odds with the SALT panel, as he advocated for Coinbase to make an “aggressive” rebuttal.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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