SEC and anti crypto army with CoinShares, Galaxy & Chamber of Digital Commerce
In a recent panel discussion at the Crypto Finance Forum (CFF), experts in the crypto industry shared their views on the existence of what they referred to as the anti-crypto army. These critics, whether in the form of regulators, politicians, or skeptics, have cast a shadow of doubt and uncertainty over the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
The panel was moderated by Antoine Scalia, Founder & CEO at Cryptio, and included panelists Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, Harry Austin, On-Chain Strategy at Galaxy, and Cody Carbone, VP of Policy at the Chamber of Digital Commerce.
This blog explores the strategies proposed by the panelists to navigate the challenges presented by the anti-crypto army. The discussion highlights the importance of political engagement, the development of practical use cases, partnerships with traditional financial institutions (TradFi), educational initiatives, and the quantification of blockchain's real-world impact.
The criticism by the SEC: justified or unjustified?
The discussion began with a focus on the criticism and scrutiny faced by the crypto industry, particularly from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
"In the U.S., we have a really interesting issue because you have an alphabet soup of regulators. You have a Congress that can't get its act together. At the end of the day, we have an industry that is rife with vaporware, fraud, and egregious behavior. I think one of the unfortunate realities of the current state of crypto is there are a lot of investors who are not doing due diligence, and founders engage in insane behavior."
Meltem highlighted the challenges posed by the rapid rush to raise and deploy capital in the crypto industry, leading to a lack of diligence and accountability.
Harry emphasized the need for responsible development and regulatory compliance in the industry:
"There have been countless rug scams, vulnerable smart contracts, and exploits that have happened in the decentralized marketplace. I envision a world where the people in this room will help drive innovation and standards for smart contracts and auditing procedures."
Cody noted that while there are valid concerns and enforcement actions related to scams and fraud, the industry needs to be patient with regulators who are learning about this novel technology:
"The regulators are trying to get up to speed on what we're talking about. We're dealing with an industry that is so easy to access. Anyone with an internet connection can interact with crypto. So I think it makes it a very easy target more so than other industries."
Misconceptions and challenges in blockchain technology
The panelists discussed misconceptions and challenges related to blockchain technology. They highlighted the need for use cases and real-world applications to drive adoption and understanding:
Harry urged the industry to develop real-world use cases to make the benefits of blockchain technology more evident to the general public:
"I think the industry as a whole needs to do a better job of developing real-world use cases so that people can actually use crypto on a daily basis."
Cody emphasized the importance of education and partnerships with traditional financial players:
"Partnerships with traditional finance players and big accounting firms can help accelerate adoption and make regulators more comfortable."
Meltem called for a shift in the industry's messaging and a focus on quantifying and qualifying the technology's impact:
"We're building a bunch of really expensive chairs that nobody will ever sit in. Unless you can effectively market and sell your product, you don't have a product."
Overcoming the anti crypto army
The panel concluded with a discussion on how to combat the anti-crypto army effectively. Cody emphasized the significance of political engagement and the power of the vote.
"One vote. That's huge. If you want to see a change from your politicians, get out there and be active."
Harry reinforced the panel's consensus that tangible use cases are pivotal to changing the narrative, by underlining that education is crucial in the world of blockchain. Apart from knowledge building, however, he also recommends building partnerships with TradFi institutions and accounting firms.
"The other thing I would say is partnerships with the likes of the big traditional finance players and the big accounting firms.”
He pointed out the influence established financial institutions can have in gaining regulatory approval and fostering industry-wide acceptance.
Meltem emphasized the importance of quantification and qualification. She brought up the issue of using blockchain buzzwords and vague terminology. She stated for the need to provide clear, practical examples that resonate with people's everyday lives.
"Quantify and qualify. The words we are using make no sense whatsoever. Democratize. What are we democratizing? What does that mean? Decentralized. None of this makes sense.”
In essence, the panelists collectively stressed the urgency of taking action over merely discussing opposition to the SEC. Antoine supported this viewpoint and stated crypto companies should focus on building products that people actually need and will use, and that’s how the SEC will better understand and support the need for blockchain technology.
“Let’s stop talking about the anti crypto army and just build a product that people will use and then this is what would make us win basically.”
Crypto's path forward: navigating the challenges and building a supportive future
In conclusion, the panelists delved into the complex landscape of the crypto industry, where criticism from regulators, politicians, and skeptics has led to the creation of what they referred to as the anti-crypto army.
To navigate these challenges, the panelists put forth a multi-faceted approach. They emphasized the importance of political engagement and voting, suggesting that active involvement in the political process can influence regulatory decisions. Furthermore, the panelists stressed the need for real-world use cases and practical applications, making the technology more accessible and relatable.
Collaboration with traditional financial (TradFi) institutions and accounting firms was highlighted as a way to accelerate adoption and establish credibility. Educational efforts and quantifiable data on the use case were seen as essential in dispelling misconceptions. By adopting these strategies, the crypto industry can work towards shaping a more inclusive and cooperative future for blockchain technology.