CEO and co-founder of Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance company Circle has said the biggest regulatory hurdle facing crypto today is the lack of clarity from the United States securities regulator over how to define various crypto assets.
Jeremy Allaire made his remarks in an AMA reddit thread he initiated on Jan. 10 together with Circle co-founder Sean Neville and other representatives from the firm.
In response to a question over Circle’s efforts to educate regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the crypto industry, as well as specific challenges the company faces, Allaire wrote:
“The biggest and most immediate regulatory hurdle we face is the lack of specific guidance from the SEC on how to classify various crypto assets. We believe many are clearly currencies and commodities, and there needs to be more specificity on what are really securities. This can unlock a lot of market activity, and also clearly enable the growth of a market for crypto-based securities.”
In response to other regulation-focused questions, Allaire also stated Circle’s belief that tax treatment should be differentiated for crypto-to-crypto transactions — noting that France has inched ahead of other countries in pursuing a statutory amendment to this end.
As reported, France’s prospective bill to ease crypto-crypto taxation has notably recently faced a setback in parliament.
Other topics that gained traction on the thread were discussions of privacy-focused altcoins such as Monero (XMR), with many redditors keen to get insights into Circle’s approach to handling scrutiny from regulators and law enforcement into so-dubbed opaque blockchains.
Robert Bench, chief compliance officer and head regulatory counsel for Circle, clarified that while no specific legislation has yet been drafted in the U.S. in regard to privacy coins, Circle may take use of such assets into account for its customers’ risk assessments.
Noting that tackling privacy and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance is high on regulators’ agenda, he added that he “wouldn't underestimate the ability of smart industry and government participants to find solutions to provide transparency on these coins [in the future].”
“I do not think it's winner-take-all. We have the phrase ‘the tokenization of everything,’ and we think cryptographic tokens are going to represent every form of financial asset in the world. There will be millions of them in years.”