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SEC Commissioner opposed “safe harbor” for ICO


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Caroline Abbey Crenshaw opposed calls to create a “safe harbor” that would protect Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) projects from accountability to the regulator.

“If there had been a safe haven during the ICO boom in 2017 and 2018. I think the results for investors and markets would have been even worse. ICOs and other digital asset offerings have attracted billions. But most of them have never fulfilled their promises. Investors have suffered losses,” she said.

According to Crenshaw, instead of a “harbor”, they need a “bridge” between the participants of the crypto industry and SEC. Then the projects will be able to better clarify compliance with regulatory requirements together with the Commission, she believes.

Crypto winter

Crenshaw made the statements during the annual “SEC Speaks” event earlier this month and uploaded her speech on the SEC’s website on Oct. 12.

“Like all new developments in the markets, digital assets, decentralized networks and ways of user interaction pose new questions. If a company or its consultant is in such a position, we are ready to work with them. But it is best to help if they take the initiative,” said Crenshaw.

She also added, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these troubled offerings pre-dated and proceeded through the start of a multi-year decline in the value of digital assets, dubbed the crypto winter”.

The “Clarity for Digital Tokens”

Earlier in February 2020, SEC Commissioner Hester “Crypto Mom” Peirce made a proposal to introduce a three-year grace period for startups conducting token sales.

Later in April 2021, she presented the second version of the “safe harbor” for ICO projects. Known for her friendly attitude to the crypto industry; Pierce previously stated that non-fungible token (NFT) sales may violate securities laws. In addition, she advised decentralized finance (DeFi) projects to consult with the SEC about this.

Recall that in this month, representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina put forward a draft bill of the “Clarity for Digital Tokens Act of 2021”. McHenry, known as “Mr. Fintech”, has proposed several pro-crypto bills. Including recommending that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and SEC “establish a joint working group on digital assets” to address regulatory clarity in the crypto space. He also informed his colleagues that trying to block Bitcoin (BTC) would be pointless. Because the cryptocurrency was an “irresistible juggernaut”.

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