John Berlau Criticizes US SEC’s Approach to Crypto and Blockchain
A senior fellow at libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, John Berlau, has criticized the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.
In a report termed “Cryptocurrency and the SEC’s Limitless Power Grab: Why Speculative Consumer Goods Are Not ‘Securities,’” Berlau claimed that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are transformative innovations, potential of which has been stunted by “burdensome regulation.”
Berlau stated that “among federal financial regulatory agencies, none poses a greater threat to cryptocurrency and the associated blockchain technologies than the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
John argued that the government’s crackdown on the technologies prevents entrepreneurs from experimenting with novel approaches and applications.
Berlau further argued that the SEC’s scrutiny could threaten the functionality of blockchain tech if the agency deems cryptocurrency a “security.” John went on to state that the SEC’s regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies could harm retail investors:
“Deeming cryptocurrency as a ‘security’ could put cryptocurrency out of the reach of middle-class investors because of the same red tape — both from SEC regulations and from financial regulation laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 — that has hindered small investors’ access to stock in early stage growth companies.”
The report also criticized the Howey test used by the SEC and Supreme Court to define whether transactions qualify as “investment contracts.”