The Securities and Exchange Commission has received a petition calling for better rules and clarity around the legal basis for cryptocurrencies and blockchain protocols.
The petition, raised by New York-based Ouisa Capital, called on the SEC to get on the front foot, and resolve the uncertainty and “lack of regulatory clarity with respect to the regulation of digital assets and blockchain technology.”
The petition also called for a formal regulatory sandbox, to foster development of the technology in a non-live market environment.
The SEC has had several opportunities in recent months, with ETF proposals laid by several investment entities, to outline its position on blockchain assets.
However, having declined these opportunities for listing, the position remains very much unclear — a situation the petition from Ouisa Capital purports to address.
According to the petition, Ouisa Capital wants the SEC to regulate the technology sooner rather than later, in a move it says would foster growth and the further development of the industry.
“Ouisa encourages the SEC to engage in a meaningful discussion of how to regulate FinTech companies that are issuing digital assets that may be deemed securities and the platforms and broker-dealers that facilitate the issuance and trading of those digital assets. We believe digital assets in several contexts are securities and that existing laws provide a mechanism for regulation of the issuance and trading of digital assets.”
When asked for comment, the SEC declined to confirm they were working on proposals for classifying blockchain securities, although some analysts suggest work may well already be underway.
Unlike other agencies that come into contact with digital currencies and have already made their position clear, the SEC has yet to come out publicly with an indication of how it views altcoin and blockchain investments.
Following the dismissal of two ETF listing requests in the last few months, and with one still under active consideration, it remains to be seen whether this call for clarification will prompt action from the SEC.
However, it is likely to be welcomed by some investors, many of whom are holding back investments in anticipation of the SEC’s next move.