During a panel discussion at the Token 2049 conference, Sandy Young, managing director of Ripple Europe, and Blair Holliday, head of UK bitcoin exchange Gemini, agreed that the SEC's approach to legal regulation of the digital asset industry is unclear. Decrypt writes.
"You have two extremes: an outright ban in China and El Salvador recognising bitcoin as legal tender. Then there's the US approach - regulation by enforcement," Yang noted.
She added that countries like Japan, Singapore and the UK are doing better by creating regulatory frameworks that provide regulatory clarity.
Mary Beth Buchanan, director of legal affairs at analytics platform Merkle Science, agreed with Young.
"I remember being part of a discussion in New York in 2014 and we couldn't agree on what is cryptocurrency - is it property, income or a commodity? I think in the US we have moved a little further. We still don't have the clear regulation that is present in other parts of the world," she said.
SEC chief Gary Gensler disagrees with this assertion. Speaking to the US Congress on October 5, he said that the agency has no plans to ban cryptocurrencies. The official also pointed out that the Commission has the necessary authority to regulate the digital asset market and that securities laws are "clear enough".
In contrast to the US, the panelists spoke positively about the UK's legal regime. Holliday said the FCA has made it "very clear" that licensing is a "privilege and a gift", meaning companies must continually work to build trusted relationships with regulators.
In 2020, the FCA added Gemini's two divisions, Gemini Europe Ltd and Gemini Europe Services Ltd, to its register of accredited companies. The former is responsible for financial settlement and the latter for cryptocurrency storage and trading platform operations.
At the same time, bitcoin exchange Binance had a conflict with the Authority. In June 2021, the FCA banned the company's local unit from any regulated activity without prior written approval from the authority.
Recall that in September, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse accused the SEC of inaction regarding cryptocurrency regulation.