An attendee tweeted this past Monday morning that during the recent Mainnet 2021 cryptocurrency conference held in New York, he had witnessed an event speaker getting &lsquocharged by the United States SEC' prior to getting on stage.
The tweet sparked heated debate and rigorous discourse regarding the authenticity of the allegation, the recipient of the alleged subpoena, as well as the overall concept that the Securities and Exchange Commission was exploiting a cryptocurrency event to launch investigations and was reportedly overstepping its boundaries.
What just happened?
Attempts to independently verify the allegation were futile, and the attendee in question, namely investor Slava Rubin, has yet to reply to a follow-up request for clarification. Numerous attendees claimed, however, that multiple individuals were indeed served by the regulatory agency during the event.
Nevertheless, reports of the event were quickly corroborated by Ryan Selkis, the founder of Messari which was also sponsoring the conference. Ryan claimed in a tweet that the idea that these individuals could waltz into the event unannounced and uninvited without paying for a ticket and serving one of the speakers a subpoena has now in fact motivated him to compete for Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate position in 2024.
What does this mean going forward?
We can expect similar developments in the future if the SEC develops a habit of utilizing cryptocurrency meetings, events, gatherings, and conferences to serve subpoenas to potential targets. This tendency could have an impact on foreign nationals in particular, who may evade the authorities more easily if they just stay out of the United States' jurisdiction.
Furthermore, there are regulations that govern how individuals in corporations abroad must be served with subpoenas, according to blockchain attorney Daniel Payne. It would hence be a lot simpler as well as easier to issue these subpoenas when these foreign nationals enter the United States, and so this is definitely a technique that government officials have used before and in all likelihood will continue to do so going forward, he added.
Risk of getting left behind
It is becoming abundantly clear that the SEC is hell-bent on regulating the cryptocurrency sector as much as possible, as was made increasingly evident by federal and state regulators in the United States who have steadily increased their public-facing engagement in the industry. The still ongoing case against Ripple is a prime example of this.
Moreover, as the campaign against the stablecoins also rages on, one cannot help but wonder as to whether it would be more beneficial to simply avoid becoming involved with the U.S altogether as far as the cryptocurrency community, market, and industry may be concerned. American crypto enthusiasts are therefore worried that the country risks being left behind as the world continues to usher in a new age of decentralization.