On Episode 27 of Hashing It Out, CoinRoutes CEO Dave Weisberger joins host Elisha Owusu Akyaw (also known as GhCryptoGuy) to discuss the current state of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States. Weisberger explains how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approach regulations and what they mean for the fast-evolving cryptocurrency space.
Weisberger addresses the state of regulation at the start of the podcast. According to him, the problem in the United States stems from a lack of clear regulations and rules, leading to regulators arbitrarily applying different rules. Weisberger adds that the issue stems from the existence of two different regulators — the SEC and CFTC — which have different roles in the financial system that may intersect depending on which crypto assets are being referred to and the use cases under scrutiny.
Recently, the SEC took the initiative to lead the attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies, resulting in multiple court cases against several projects in 2023. Weisberger explains that for most industry players, there isn’t a strong resistance to regulations; rather, the argument is that the SEC’s rules were established in the 1940s and updated in the 1970s and should not be used to regulate a new asset class and technology-oriented products. He further describes the situation from the perspective of builders in the space:
“We have a situation where the industry says if you call me a security, it is a death sentence. Not because regulation is bad but because the rules themselves will strangle the innovation.”
Hashing It Out host Owusu Akyaw asks if regulating cryptocurrencies is challenging in the United States, to which the CoinRoutes CEO responds that the answer should be no, but that it’s a complex situation. He uses the analogy that remodeling a house is more difficult than building a house from scratch. According to Weisberger, regulators need to rethink their approach toward crypto regulations.
On whether or not cryptocurrency is an issue voters care about in the U.S., Weisberger argues that the freedom to invest and engage in economic activity and the U.S. potentially losing competitiveness in a fast-growing industry are issues that make cryptocurrency an important voting issue.