It comes as a regulatory noose appears to be tightening around the emerging industry.
Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty has compared the resistance to crypto in the United States to the opposition to snowboarding in the 80s.
The attorney did this in a tweet yesterday, sharing a CBC news clip from 1985 that highlighted the disdain ski hill operators had for the emerging sport.
— Stuart Alderoty (@s_alderoty) February 10, 2023
The sport, which sees participants descend a slope with a board, originated in the U.S. in the 60s. While it bears similarities with skiing, the newer sport faced resistance from skiers who asserted that snowboarders lacked controls and posed a danger to others on the slope, as highlighted in the news clip.
Notably, pro-XRP attorney James K. Filan shared Alderoty’s tweet comparing a ski patrol officer in the clip to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler. The patrol officer in the clip described the snowboarders as “uncooperative” and dangerous, asserting that there could be no compromise in the future and that the development of the new sport would only lead to more strife.
— James K. Filan 🇺🇸🇮🇪 (@FilanLaw) February 10, 2023
“… quite a lot of them [snowboarders] are uncooperative,” the officer asserted. “… you go up and approach them in a very calm collect manner. And they … tend to lip you off you ask them very nicely to leave that they’re endangering the public and possibly themselves. And they … swear at you, they tell you to get lost mind your own business. So it’s quite a problem for us, really.”
“… skiing is becoming more and more popular. And if these boards become more and more popular, it’s going to be more hassles. More confrontation. So we just like to say that we don’t want them at all.”
Notably, snowboarding is now an Olympic sport.
The latest comparisons come as it appears that a regulatory noose is tightening around the nascent market or, as Gensler has often said recently, “the runway is getting short” for crypto companies.
As highlighted in recent reports, the SEC slapped Kraken with charges for allegedly offering unregistered securities via its crypto-staking service. The long-standing crypto exchange opted to settle the charges and will pay a $30 million fine in addition to shutting down the service and entering an agreement never to offer it to U.S. customers.
While Gensler has hailed this as a win for investors, who he asserts were not fully informed of the risks, and a clear message to others offering similar services to register, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has expressed contrary views. In a statement on Thursday, she described the enforcement action as unfair and inefficient.
According to the commissioner, not only did the SEC not give Kraken notice before launching the enforcement action, but the measures taken do not address the lack of clarity on how these companies can register as Gensler claims to want. Peirce also objected to the SEC opting to shut down the service that has served users well over a registration violation. She noted that while more transparency is always better, the regulators had to provide clear and uniform rules.
In an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin yesterday, Gensler asserted that the agency communicated with the industry through “speeches” and was “taking meetings.” However, it is worth noting that guidance through speeches has proven insufficient and conflicting, a clear example being the controversial Bill Hinman speech. In addition, despite Gensler’s claims, several crypto companies and even lawmakers have often expressed difficulty in getting responses to inquiries.
Ironically, records show that the SEC chief met with now disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on multiple occasions.
Amidst all these, there is speculation that multiple U.S. agencies have launched a coordinated effort to sever the industry’s access to banks. It is fueled by recent Fed policy statements discouraging interactions with the crypto industry, dubbing them high risk. It will likely pose several problems for exchanges and stablecoins. Recall that Binance has already suspended dollar deposits and withdrawals.