The Crypto Industry Resistance is Growing Bolder
We’ve been saying for months that the crypto industry as a whole needs to start pushing back against government regulators at the legal and political level, and the industry is listening.
The incoming CEO of Kraken, Dave Ripley, said with unqualified boldness that he will not register the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. And he added that despite the SEC demands, he will not delist any tokens the SEC says are securities.
“There are not any tokens out there that are securities that we’re interested in listing,” he said.
However, he did not rule out listing security tokens entirely, noting that “there could be some new token out there that becomes interesting and also happens to simultaneously be a security, in that case, we would potentially be interested in that path.”
Dave Ripley is set to succeed Jesse Powell as CEO after the Kraken co-founder decided to step down on Sept. 21 after 11 years in the top job, citing the huge growth of the company and the large drain on him to oversee it all.
Ripley’s statements on crypto assets appear to be in direct opposition to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who recently made his thoughts on the status of crypto exchanges and tokens very clear.
Meanwhile, LBRY CEO Jeremy Kauffman, wearing a t-shirt with an explicitly anti-SEC message at Messari’s Mainnet conference in New York, called out the SEC as an existential threat to crypto. He said the SEC isn’t trying to regulate the crypto industry, but to damage or destroy it.
The SEC charged LBRY with selling unregistered securities in March of last year. The Commission took issue with the $11 million in funding raised through the sale of LBRY Credits, tokens that are now used to upload files and make payments on the blockchain-based platform but were offered for sale before the network was built.
The SEC viewed LBRY Credits as investment contracts, based on the notion that buyers believed they would reap profit from purchasing the tokens.
Kauffman said the company has been “fighting the SEC for coming up on five years" and soon expects a federal judge to weigh in with a ruling on whether a full trial is necessary.
The verdict will have far-reaching implications for other companies as well, according to him, setting some level of precedent for companies that have raised money for their projects through an initial coin offering or ICO.
“The facts in this case would basically apply to every company in this room,” he said. “The SEC has very much demonstrated that they are out to damage or destroy the cryptocurrency industry in the United States.”
We are pleased that leaders and founders in the industry are starting to push back against the relentless government campaign against crypto, and we hope more will join this fight for freedom and privacy.