Industry regulators are finally catching up with blockchain companies that have dubiously defined their tokens as “utilities” (therefore avoiding the strict issuing and management requirements of “securities”). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has publicly brought a number of enforcement actions against over 20 such companies and individuals, which is encouraging the rest of the blockchain industry to step back into line.
For the crypto industry, attracting the next 100 million consumers to start using tokens as currency is going to require simpler access methods. The current process of exchanging a fiat currency (e.g., USD) to any cryptocurrency (e.g., bitcoin), is a multi-step process with lots of obstacles.
To many on the outside, the blockchain industry and speculative crypto markets are one and the same, which often leads to misunderstandings. For the two entities that regulate the market, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the result is that they tend to either look at the whole industry as an “unregulated mess” or view it with concerns about fraud or “operational risk.” Ultimately, regulators view the blockchain industry through distorting mirrors.
Startup life is full of snakes and ladders, but in the blockchain market there are currently more snakes.
To play the game, roll the dice to advance … if you land on a snake’s head, go to its tail. If you land on the bottom of the ladder, move to the top. Good luck!