Michael Saylor – Executive Chairman of the Bitcoin-bullish software company MicroStrategy – spoke at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami about the trajectory of Bitcoin adoption as a Treasury Reserve asset, and its place next to crypto in the US regulatory perimeter.
The former CEO answered whether the so-called “lack of clarity” surrounding crypto regulation in the United States is “by design,” and how regulatory agencies view digital assets.
What the SEC Doesn’t Want, According to Saylor
In a interviews with Kitco NEWS published on Monday, Saylor said that he believes that regulators are against stablecoins that effectively allow billions of US dollars to circulate in “dark pools,” thereby avoiding those control of the banking system and sanctions. “Stablecoins are a problem for them, and I don’t think they can change their view,” he said.
He also believes that regulators have already concluded that most crypto tokens are unregistered securities manipulated by their issuers, who do not issue proper disclosures about those assets. It matches the view of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler, who only publicly indicated the willingness to label Bitcoin as a commodity.
“The FTX meltdown was a catalytic event that caused regulators to decide that crypto exchanges, crypto securities, and cryptocurrencies that imitate the dollar are simply not compatible with a stable global financial system, Saylor said.
The US government has launched a multi-front attack on the crypto industry since FTX went down, including a $30 million SEC fine against Kraken in February, and a Wells Notice against Coinbase for a similar product in April. Coinbase responded by forcing the SEC to respond to its request for clearer crypto regulations, which the SEC now wants strike.
What’s Stopping Bitcoin Adoption?
While Bitcoin itself doesn’t face the same kinds of regulatory threats, Saylor says there are still milestones to overcome on the way to greater institutional adoption.
Something of the accounting: Bitcoin is currently transitioning from using an “indefinite intangible” to a “fair value” accounting framework, which will allow companies holding BTC on their balance sheets to mark their crypto investment gains – not just their losses.
Another obstacle is related to “crypto confusion,” with companies mixing Bitcoin with other parts of the crypto market. “A lot of people have a hard time distinguishing between Bitcoin and FTX, and FTT tokens, and Terra, and Luna tokens, and all these other crypto assets,” Saylor explained.
However, Saylor believes Bitcoin will benefit once regulators “clean up” the crypto industry. “Until that gets resolved … I think there are a lot of conservative investors who are standing around and waiting.”
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