Caroline Pham, one of five commissioners with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, has expressed concerns about the possible implications of a case the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, brought against a former product manager at Coinbase.
In a Thursday statement, Pham said the SEC complaint against former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi, his brother Nikhil Wahi and an associate Sameer Ramani “could have broad implications” beyond the case, given its labeling nine tokens as “crypto asset securities” falling under regulatory body’s purview. The complaint alleged the Wahis and Ramani engaged in insider trading by using confidential information Ishan obtained from Coinbase in regard to which tokens would be listed on the exchange to make purchases in advance.
Specifically, the SEC referred to Powerledger (POWR), Kromatika (KROM), DFX Finance (DFX), Amp (AMP), Rally (RLY), Rari Governance Token (RGT), DerivaDAO (DDX), LCX, and XYO — 9 of the 25 different cryptocurrencies the trio allegedly used to reap $1.1 million in gains — as securities. Pham said the SEC’s actions constituted an example of “regulation by enforcement” rather than addressing the question of certain crypto assets as securities “through a transparent process that engages the public to develop appropriate policy with expert input.”
“Regulatory clarity comes from being out in the open, not in the dark,” said Pham. “Given the overriding public interest and the open questions on the legal statuses of various digital assets, such as…