Sendi Young, managing director of Ripple Europe, and Blair Halliday, head of the UK division of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, have said during a panel discussion at the Token 2049 conference that the SEC's approach to the legal regulation of the digital asset industry is unclear, Decrypt has reported.
In particular, Young has said:
"You have extremes, with China’s straight out ban, and El Salvador making Bitcoin legal tender. Then you have the US approach of regulation by enforcement."
Young added that countries such as Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom 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. She has said:
"I remember being on a panel in 2014 in New York City, and nobody on the panel could agree, what is [crypto], is it property, is it income, is it a commodity? I think we’ve come a bit past that in the US, but we still don’t have the clear regulation that you have in other parts of the world."
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The SEC director Gary Gensler disagrees with this statement. In remarks to the US Congress on October 5, he stated the agency has no intention of banning cryptos. The official also noted the Commission has the necessary powers to regulate the market for digital assets, and the securities laws are "clear enough."
In contrast to the US, panelists commented favorably on the UK's legal regime. According to Halliday, the FCA has made it "very clear" that a license is a "privilege and a gift," meaning firms must continually work to build trust with regulators.
In 2020, the FCA added two divisions of Gemini to the register of accredited firms - Gemini Europe Ltd and Gemini Europe Services Ltd. The former is responsible for financial settlements, while the latter is responsible for crypto storage and operations on the trading platform.