The United States is losing the technology race wars. As the federal government, and individual components therein, continue to drag their feet on policies related to blockchains and cryptocurrencies, more entities are being forced to look to offshore destinations for product development, leaving the U.S. lagging behind. Nowhere are the delays more evident than with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which seems intent, on the surface, on doing anything it can to keep digital assets from progressing. However, this will hopefully begin to change soon, as the government agency has begun to take certain baby steps to interact more with the Bitcoin ecosystem. One example is the first FinTech Forum scheduled for Friday, May 31.
This meeting calls together commissioners from the SEC with individuals working in finance and crypto to descend on the SEC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to talk about digital assets, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and more. The meeting will reportedly see over a dozen representatives from different fields discussing the technologies with SEC representatives.
In a press release about the forum, the SEC states, “The FinTech Forum will be held at the SEC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. While the forum will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET, doors will open at 8 a.m. ET. Guests attending should bring photo identification and are encouraged to time their arrival with the understanding that they will be screened by security before entering the FinTech Forum. No registration is required to attend the event.
“A live webcast will be available on the SEC’s main website and will be archived on the FinHub page on the SEC website for later viewing. The public is encouraged to follow the SEC on Twitter at @SEC_News for live updates throughout the forum. The FinTech Forum hashtag is #SECfintech.”
The crypto space has become increasingly frustrated by what seems like an apparent lack of sincerity on the part of the SEC to help provide necessary regulations. The commission has spent more than a year contemplating several exchange-traded funds (ETF) based on crypto and has only succeeded in continuously delaying its decision on the subject, despite checking off all the requirements for their launch.
However, some point out that the forum could be just another dog-and-pony show led by the SEC that won’t actually produce any results. Just like it has delayed acting on the ETFs, it could have put together the forum for appearances’ sake, given that there’s only limited participation by the crypto community. Representatives from Fidelity and R3 are scheduled to appear, but that’s it. Absent any truly proactive efforts on the part of the SEC to push for a better-defined Bitcoin ecosystem, the U.S. will continue to fall further behind.
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