The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is sending a clear message to the cryptocurrency industry: increased regulatory scrutiny is coming.
According to a recent report by CoinDesk, David Hirsch has indicated that the agency is actively monitoring several businesses in the crypto space. These businesses include both centralized exchanges like Coinbase and Binance, as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.
David Hirsch serves as the Chief of the Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit in the Division of Enforcement at the SEC. With a law degree from UCLA School of Law, he has been with the SEC for over eight years, focusing on enforcement and legal advisory roles. Prior to his current position, he acted as Counsel to Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw and has been an enforcement attorney since September 2015.
Hirsch’s expertise spans a wide range of areas including fraud investigations, securities fraud litigation, blockchain and digital assets, cybersecurity, and anti-trust violations. He is also a member of the Legal Advisory Board at NYU Center for Cybersecurity. Before joining the SEC, Hirsch co-founded Worms & Hirsch, Inc., where he conducted investigations in support of litigation involving securities and consumer fraud. He is licensed to practice law in both California and Texas.
The SEC is no stranger to legal confrontations with crypto businesses. The agency is already embroiled in a number of complex legal cases that are being fought in federal courts. One such case involves Ripple, a prominent cryptocurrency company. Although the SEC recently faced a setback in its efforts to appeal a ruling in the Ripple case, Hirsch stated that such challenges are not deterring the agency from its mission.
Hirsch emphasized that the SEC is fully committed to bringing charges against entities that it believes are in violation of U.S. securities laws. He stated that the agency has a number of businesses on its radar that operate in a manner similar to already-known exchanges and platforms. This suggests that the SEC is widening its net and that more legal actions could be announced in the near future.
According to CNBC, on September 14, Joseph Lubin, Ethereum’s co-founder and CEO of blockchain technology company ConsenSys, expressed optimism about the future of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States. In an interview with CNBC’s “Capital Connection,” Lubin stated that he believes “clear heads will prevail” as the SEC continues its legal battles with crypto firms like Binance, Coinbase, and Ripple over the classification of crypto tokens as securities.
Lubin emphasized that decentralized protocols, blockchain, and cryptocurrency align well with American philosophies and predicted that the rest of the world would likely follow the U.S.’s lead. He also reiterated his view that ether should be considered a commodity, similar to oil, rather than a security. Lubin criticized the SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s assertion that most crypto tokens are securities, arguing that such claims need to be substantiated. He also noted that the U.S.’s stance on crypto regulation has global influence and aligns with the country’s principles of free markets and capitalism.
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