SEC agenda: Regulatory body to prioritize crypto in 2019

25 Dec, 2018 | Updated: 25 Dec, 2018
by Will Heasman
SEC agenda: Regulatory body to prioritize crypto in 2019

US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have announced their priorities for 2019, most notably among them: digital assets

The SEC is no stranger to cryptocurrency at this point, after having been bombarded with requests this year to approve a crypto ETF, alongside having attempted to make appropriate regulation for digital assets (with varying degrees of success) its fair to say that the crypto industry has been hard to ignore. 

So hard to ignore in fact, that the SEC has announced that it plans to focus specifically on digital assets in the new year: 

The accompanying press release further states:

“This year, particular emphasis will be on digital assets, cybersecurity, and matters of importance to retail investors, including fees, expenses, and conflicts of interest.”

Given the ever-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem, it's understandable that the SEC would put a special “emphasis” on the industry; this year has seen an increase of more than double the number of users within cryptocurrency a survey undertaken by Cambridge University. 

this move is also understandable given that institutional investment is also said to be moving into the space in 2019, most notably the launches of Bakkt, and Fidelity, with both ventures expected to go live in January.   

Some believe that its high time the SEC took this kind of view on digital assets, suggesting that the regulatory body needs to u the pace lest the US fall behind in the crypto race:

Similarly, others criticized the SEC for their seeming lack of haste in regards to regulation:

These comments are perhaps fair given the comparison between tUS regulation of cryptocurrencies and other countries. A vastly contrasting example would be Malta, a country which has widely accepted cryptocurrency. The Maltese government announced back in September two new pieces of legislation - the virtual financial assets act and the innovative technology arrangements and services act – both of these came into effect in November and gave greater clarity to laws surrounding virtual assets.

 Read more: Why hasn't the SEC approved a Bitcoin ETF yet?Millions of users have flocked to cryptocurrency in 2018, despite the downtrend;
 2018: A crypto year in review

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