As the Coindesk Consensus 2018 in New York drew to a close, it was time for US regulators to have their say, all agreeing that they did not want to interfere unduly with blockchain or the tokens built on the nascent technology, reports Coindesk.
As US regulators continue to look into cryptocurrencies and ICOs, one event at the conference saw three of them on stage together, joined by Kiran Raj, chief strategy officer at crypto exchange Bittrex, and attorney Steve Bunnel as panel moderator. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement director James McDonald, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division Cyber Unit chief Robert Cohen and associate deputy attorney general Sujit Raman answered questions regarding industry regulation.
While the members of the panel made it quite clear they weren’t there to represent their respective agencies, they all agreed that the wanted to see the crypto space unhindered by over-regulation.
They agreed that one of the major concerns continued to be fraud and misuse of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space by criminal activity. Cohen and Mcdonald claimed that their particular agencies had “open-door policies” for ICOs:
“Our mission is to foster financially sound markets, and we understand as a regulator that requires a certain amount of [flexibility] in our approach. We’re doing it in a way that doesn’t hinder innovation and doesn’t interfere with other regulatory priorities.”
Associate deputy Attorney General Sujit Raman asserted that Americans need to be protected by the Department of Justice, commenting that ” large sums of money flowing through the market without touching financial institutions… we have to investigate from a national security perspective.”
Asked about his concerns, Bittrex’s Raj suggested that more certainty was needed regarding regulatory processes to combat fraud, agreeing that it was not welcome in the industry, asking, “The problem is how do we take guidance and apply it to what you’re doing when it’s so far away from what the fraud people are doing?”
In contrast to the suited regulators earlier stage performance, the conference came to a close with an after bash party as promised with a performance by Snoop Dog, who arrived at the half-filled event space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, clad in Patagonia fleeces, button-up shirts and Team Ripple tees. He performed to a group of cryptocurrency believers downing champagne and blood orange margaritas.
This wasn’t Snoop dog’s first encounter with cryptocurrency, once tweeting, “My next record is available in Bitcoin n delivered in a drone”.
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