It seems like the U.S. authorities have come to understand that the cryptocurrency industry is here to stay, however, they are still stuck on that idea. The Security Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking for an expert lawyer in cryptocurrency, one they hope will bring clarity to the field the agency is still exploring. While this is good news because the agency is dedicating resources to the future of bitcoin and blockchain, they have not yet provided any progress in providing a clear regulatory reform.
The SEC Hiring Doesn’t Mean a Clear Regulatory Framework is Around the Corner
The SEC’s search for this position comes with the securities regulator declaring just a few days ago it would postpone its resolution on a pair of bitcoin ETFs until later this May. This was a statement given on the job posting, which was published on the government’s USA Jobs Board:
“The Crypto Specialist provides expertise and coordinates the Division of Trading and Market’s activities regarding crypto and digital asset securities.”
The SEC has made crypto-related assignments before. However, these movements look like a smokescreen due to the lack of any clear regulatory framework. While they have even established a Digital Assets Working Group and a FinTech Working Group, the governmental regulator is no close to finally landing into a clear crypto and blockchain regulation sooner than it was a few years ago. They still base their analysis on old fashioned formulas such as the 1946 “Howey Test” to decide if a virtual asset falls into the category of security and register it as one.
SEC Stalling Bitcoin ETF Applications
The next crypto specialist attorney will be responsible for updating SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in regards to “new developments” in the industry. By the way, there is still one development in the table for SEC commissioners, the Bitcoin ETF. During the weekend the SEC punted on two ETF decisions for applications submitted by Bitwise Asset Management/Arca and VanEck/SolidX with the Cboe until May 16 and May 21, respectively. With this delay, we won’t see an institutional product delivered until 2020, even more, if they are still looking for a blockchain specialist in the first place.
It is interesting to note that the SEC already has Valerie A. Szczepanik (senior adviser for digital assets and innovation, also referred to as the “Crypto Czar”) and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce (called the “Crypto Mom”). If the SEC hasn’t been able to make any headway with these in-house crypto experts, we wonder what the new specialist will achieve.