CEO Messari accused SEC of corruption and prepared for ‘war’

Messari’s head is ready to accuse the SEC of corruption and ineffective regulation of the crypto industry.

Ryan Selkis, CEO and co-founder of Messari, said he would no longer cooperate with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in any official or unofficial capacity. He believes that the regulator is undergoing reform and changing its leadership.

Selkis said that by prosecuting crypto companies, the SEC is abandoning its responsibilities to protect citizens and ensure market stability. Instead of developing clear rules for regulating cryptocurrencies, the SEC is pursuing its interests and the interests of federal employees rather than digital assets. Moreover, he called SEC Chairman Gary Gensler incompetent and corrupt.

“And worst of all, it seems to exist only to benefit itself and its federal employees, rather than protecting citizens from fraud and abuse, monitoring and improving the health of markets, and promoting capital raising organizations.”

Ryan Selkis, Messari CEO and co-founder

Selkis said that the analytics platform is poised to compete with the SEC by using modern technology to provide high-quality market information.

Messari data registry

In 2018, Messari already launched a registry of data on crypto projects, similar to the SEC EDGAR database. Selkis believes that open blockchains can revolutionize the issuance and settlement of financial assets. Private companies using new technologies are better able to meet public needs, and traditional government regulators are becoming obsolete.

The Messari founder added that investigative journalism is more effective than the SEC’s approach of crushing crypto companies when uncovering fraud cases. Selkis noted that Messari also helped identify many inconsistencies within large crypto companies.

SEC fraud

This is not the first time Selkis has criticized the Commission. In August 2022, he said that users lost $1 billion worth of funds in 2021 due to cryptocurrency fraud. However, this figure is smaller than the number of investors losing due to the SEC’s unfriendly approach to cryptocurrency.

Selkis admitted that, due to the SEC bias towards crypto ETFs, Grayscale investors suffered losses amounting to $7 billion. The Messari founder believed Gensler was prioritizing expanding its power over the cryptocurrency sector instead of truly focusing on protecting investors.

The crypto industry continues to criticize the SEC

Due to its policies, the Commission periodically faces a wave of criticism from participants in the cryptocurrency industry and American legislators. Thus, at the end of June, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, sharply criticized the SEC and Gensler. 

Garlinghouse noted that the SEC’s current policies regarding the cryptocurrency sector could be a critical factor leading to Joe Biden’s defeat in the upcoming presidential election in November. The head of Ripple claims that Gensler’s actions slowed down the development of the blockchain industry in the United States and undermined public trust in government institutions.

Garlinghouse particularly highlighted the SEC’s failure to prevent the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which caused significant harm to investors. At the same time, he said, the Commission is pursuing an aggressive policy against legitimate cryptocurrency companies, initiating legal proceedings against them. According to him, this inconsistency in the regulator’s actions can have serious political consequences.

Coinbase platform also sued the SEC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the U.S. District of Columbia court.

The crypto exchange believes U.S. regulators want to disrupt the industry. Platform representatives noted that for nearly two years, a wide range of federal financial regulators, including the SEC, FDIC, and the Fed, have used every regulatory tool to do so.

American politicians are unhappy with Gensler

Last year, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the head of the SEC faced some of the most significant criticism of the agency’s stance on cryptocurrencies, particularly regarding recognizing Ethereum as a security, regulating stablecoins, and the situation around FTX.

House Majority Leader Tom Emmer allowed himself to shout at the head of the Commission, accusing him of deliberately pushing the crypto industry out of the United States into the “clutches of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Gensler also received criticism from Democrats, who expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of priority in enforcement actions against offshore firms like Binance and Tether, which serve U.S. residents.

As a result of the meeting, the Representative from Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Warren Davidson, decided to introduce a bill requiring Gensler to resign from the post of head of the SEC.

The initiative was initiated because Gensler intended to reconsider the definition of exchange, which caused a wave of criticism from representatives of the crypto industry.

How will Messari’s statements affect the SEC?

The Commission has long been accustomed to numerous criticisms from politicians and crypto industry representatives. However, the regulator continues to file lawsuits against cryptocurrency companies. Therefore, the SEC can carry on its policy as before, despite Selkis’ statements.

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