SEC official: Agency taking consistent approach to crypto

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s head of enforcement, Gurbir Grewal, defended his agency’s actions against illicitly traded cryptoassets.

Remarks: Grewal said despite the crypto sector’s claims that it is not subject to securities laws, the SEC has consistently applied the Howey Test, which is the standard for determining what may qualify as a security, to determine whether instruments are investment contracts. He said the crypto sector’s arguments amount to saying, “we want a different set of rules than those that apply to everyone else.”

ICBA View: An ICBA blog post discusses the Howey Test and the policy debate over treating cryptoassets as securities or commodities. In a recent comment letter, ICBA said the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s proposal to institute recordkeeping and reporting requirements for financial institutions is insufficient to adequately protect against crypto-related illicit financial activity.