Saturday, September 30, 2023

John Reed Stark, the former chief of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) internet enforcement, has sounded the alarm that the regulatory actions against cryptocurrencies are unending. He argues that major cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Coinbase and Binance are engaged in “a temporary strategy of regulatory evasion, with the intention to accumulate as much traditional currency as they can before their eventual collapse.”

Continued Warnings About Cryptocurrency Regulation from Former SEC Official

Former chief of the SEC Office of Internet Enforcement, John Reed Stark, issued an extensive warning on Twitter last Saturday, stating, “the SEC’s cryptocurrency regulation offensive will never cease.” Stark, who founded the office and led it for 11 years, now serves as the president of cybersecurity firm John Reed Stark Consulting and was previously an SEC enforcement attorney for a decade and a half.

Drawing attention to the SEC’s recent legal action against cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, Stark observed that the allegations against Bittrex are consistent with actions taken against other crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance. The former SEC figurehead highlighted that by designating themselves as ‘exchanges,’ ‘brokers,’ and ‘market-makers,’ platforms like Bittrex, Beaxy, Coinbase, Binance, and others misappropriate terms that have historically signaled trust, oversight, and consumer protection. He warned, “This convincing deceit can rapidly turn into perilous and illegal promotional tactics.”

Elaborating on the regulations, Stark pointed out that the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 was created to regulate and oversee investment tactics by major financial groups. He stressed that without SEC registration, a market resembling a “Walking Dead-like post-apocalyptic landscape” could emerge. Stark firmly stated:

The SEC’s crackdown on crypto will persist forever.

He further explained that this relentless regulatory approach stems from the SEC’s vital tripartite mission: “to safeguard investors; to uphold fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and to encourage capital formation,” a mission too essential for the SEC to abandon.

Stark went on to underscore the necessity of SEC registration for crypto platforms that offer tokens deemed as securities, citing that according to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, all crypto tokens (with the exception of Bitcoin and recently, XRP) are considered securities.

Discussing the “rebellious stance of crypto trading firms,” he noted, “Many crypto trading platforms have been functioning as unauthorized exchanges for several years.” He alleged that these crypto firms have executed these roles, even though they’ve included crypto asset securities, adding:

Entities like Binance, Coinbase, Beaxy, Bittrex, and other crypto-trading platforms are merely engaged in (and succeeding at) a fleeting manipulation of regulatory inconsistencies, all in the pursuit of gaining as much traditional currency as possible prior to their foreseeable downfall (or substantial downsizing).

“The most astonishing contradiction is that these self-proclaimed ‘crypto-exchanges’ profess to be vanguards of the financial future, portraying themselves as pioneers of innovative transformation that symbolizes the future of currency,” Stark added. “Don’t be deceived. Behind their polished façade, these crypto trading platforms are perpetrating an extraordinarily vast (and effective) trust-based deception that’s as ancient as finance itself.”

What’s your take on John Reed Stark’s cautionary words, the former chief of internet enforcement at the SEC? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: crypto regulation

Who warned about the never-ending crypto regulatory onslaught and what is his background?

John Reed Stark, the former chief of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) internet enforcement, warned about the never-ending crypto regulatory onslaught. He founded and led the SEC Office of Internet Enforcement for 11 years and was an SEC enforcement attorney for 15 years. Currently, he serves as the president of cybersecurity firm John Reed Stark Consulting.

What are crypto trading platforms like Binance and Coinbase accused of?

They are accused of engaging in a temporary strategy of regulatory evasion, or “regulatory arbitrage,” with the intention to accumulate as much traditional currency as possible before their eventual collapse. This includes operating as unauthorized exchanges and misusing terms that imply trust and consumer protection.

What was the stance of the SEC regarding crypto tokens?

According to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, all crypto tokens, except Bitcoin and, as determined by a recent court ruling, XRP, are considered securities. This classification plays a significant role in the regulatory actions taken against crypto trading platforms.

What is Stark’s perspective on the future of crypto trading platforms?

Stark believes that crypto trading platforms are engaging in deceit and dangerous marketing tactics. He sees their actions as a short game to gain traditional currency, predicting their eventual downfall or substantial downsizing, and equates their behavior to a trust-based deception as old as finance itself.


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Sarah1982 August 14, 2023 - 1:24 am

Is all crypto really that bad? I thought it was the futur of finance. Stark seems like he’s stuck in the past. Someone has to push the envelope! Who agrees??

MikeInTech August 14, 2023 - 3:02 am

Didn’t know much about the SEC’s rules till now. This Stark guy must really know his stuff. but why so negative on crypto? Is it all really a grift?

Katie_LovesCrypto August 14, 2023 - 7:01 am

I disagree with Stark. Crypto is here to stay. we need innovation, not more red tape and regulations! Just my 2 cents, but I believe in the technology and what it could bring.

GregWatcher August 14, 2023 - 4:49 pm

What about Bitcoin and XRP? They seem to be in the clear, but what makes them different? still trying to understand all this. Good warning by Stark though, makes you think.

JamesT August 14, 2023 - 6:21 pm

Stark’s warning seems pretty legit. i mean, if these platforms are playing with the rules, they’re bound to get caught eventually, right??


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