On the heels of recent commentary from the published correspondence between Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton and representative Ted Budd, SEC senior advisor Valerie Szczepanik explained at Austin’s SXSW conference that stablecoins may be violating current securities laws.
Stablecoins May Live in the Land of Securities
Over the last two years, stablecoins have become an extremely hot topic while becoming popular vehicles for hedging against the volatility tied to cryptocurrency markets. Tether (USDT) has been king of the stablecoins for a while, and recently made headlines for a revision to the company’s website. The change caused uproar within the cryptocurrency community because instead of confirming that each Tether is backed by one USD, the terms were substantially revised.
“Every tether is always 100 percent backed by our reserves, which include traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities,” the website now reads.
Following Tether’s recent website update, on March 15, SEC senior advisor Valerie Szczepanik explained that due to the inherent nature of stablecoins, the tokens could “raise issues under securities laws.” Szczepanik explained that stablecoins are broken down into categories which include tethering the tokens to “some real asset, like real estate or gold and oil — Coins tied to a fiat currency held in reserve, and a third category that could become problematic under the law.” The SEC advisor added while on stage at SXSW: “I’ve seen stablecoins that purport to control price through some kind of pricing mechanism,