US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Elad Roisman is stepping down, potentially adding to the challenges the industry faces regarding regulation.
Roisman is a known proponent of crypto and its regulation and has often sided with Hester Pierce, who is one of the most outspoke advocates for the necessity to move quickly on regulating digital goods.
Roisman was also an opponent of chairman Gary Gensler, who was elected on a promise to look into crypto industry but has been hesitant, eliciting criticism from both Roisman and Pierce.
Commissioner Roisman's work has benefited investors, the capital markets, the SEC, and our nation. I cannot overstate the privilege of serving alongside someone so humble, hard-working, patriotic, and principled. https://t.co/TjoKymy12U
— Hester Peirce (@HesterPeirce) December 20, 2021
Roisman has met eye-to-eye with Gensler on certain issues, citing consumer protection as his highest priority. He backed Gensler and fellow commissioners Caroline Crenshaw and Allison Herren Lee against listing WisdomTree as a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange fund. Still, to the crypto community, Roisman was a voice of reason within SEC, similar to Pierce’s own position.
The main point of conflict within SEC came from the ill-defined status of securities when talking cryptocurrencies. Companies have been asking regulators to tell them which of their offerings constituted securities and needed the necessary regulatory approvals to continue trading as such.
Ripple Labs, for example, launched an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which SEC argued is an unregistered securities offering. However, SEC has not issued broader recommendations, choosing to work on a case-by-case basis, avoiding the creation of a framework that may have loopholes in it.
This reluctance has prompted commissioners such as Roisman and Pierce to ask for more action on regulation crypto.
Roisman and Pierce saw eye-to-eye in the Coinschedule case. Coinschedule is a UK exchange which was targeted by SEC for issuing unregistered securities, but the regulator failed to describe which tokens were in fact securities.
Both Roisman and Pierce criticized the lack of clarity. Meanwhile, crypto executives have been reaching out to branches of government, seeking to propose actionable regulation. However, SEC has remained one of the few government branches that has outright refused to talk to crypto companies outside of the courtroom.
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