The Securities and Exchange Commission seemingly try to legitimize the industry, their decisions sometimes seem to indicate otherwise. In a new post, the agency is looking to run full network nodes for multiple cryptocurrencies. Some interesting projects are on this list, although the bigger goal remains rather unclear.
Hiring a new Contractor
It is not uncommon for the SEC to explore new technological ventures for a wide variety of reasons. As far as cryptocurrencies, tokens, and assets are concerned, there hasn’t been too much going on in recent years. It now appears there was a good reason for this delay, as the agency is officially hiring a “cryptocurrency” contractor for a very specific task. They want the contractor in question to run full blockchain nodes for a growing list of cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. A very surprising turn of events, albeit most people are confused as to what is going on exactly.
One has to wonder why the agency is not running all of these nodes directly, although that could easily be explained as well. By relying on a contractor, the SEC can still obtain the data and information it seeks without all of the worries and headaches associated with running these nodes. Moreover, they do not expose themselves as a part of any cryptocurrency ecosystem, nor are they openly “vetting” any of these projects either. Even so, this is an unexpected development which will spark some intriguing debates for the foreseeable future.
The Supported Currencies
Whereas one would expect the SEC to focus on just the world’s leading cryptocurrency, that is not entirely the case. In the “job listing“, the agency specifically mentions Bitcoin and Ethereum, but they also list a wide selection of altcoins, tokens, and assets. That long list includes the likes of NEO, Stellar, ZCash, XRP, and Bitcoin Cash. Especially ZCash is an interesting choice, considering how this project focuses on privacy and, to a degree, financial anonymity. The choice for XRP and Stellar is easier to explain, as both projects aim to disrupt the financial sector through blockchain technology.
One might argue the long list of supported currencies shows all of these projects are on a shortlist for the SEC. What the reasoning behind this list might be, is very difficult to determine at this point. Given how the United States still lacks any sort of cryptocurrency regulation, this new job opportunity shows things might finally change for the better. As such, the listed currencies may go through some sort of “vetting process” in the weeks and months ahead. Only time will tell whether or not that will yield a positive outcome.
vWeeding out Securities From Tokens?
It would appear one of the main purposes of this new venture is to further crack down on securities masked as tokens which may have gone by unnoticed up until now. Over the past few years, there have been a growing number of projects which are labeled as “tokens” but eventually got labeled as “securities” by the SEC. Virtually all of those projects have been shut down ever since, but there is still a long list of projects to go through. By collecting blockchain data form these nodes through a third-party contractor, they may seek to analyze which of those tokens could be treated as securities in the future.
The Future of Cryptocurrency
The bigger question is what all of this means for the future of cryptocurrency. Any form of validation by the SEC – either directly or otherwise – could be very beneficial to this industry in the years ahead. Given all of the bad press Bitcoin and altcoins have received over the years, it now seems things may finally start to look up again. An impact on the price of BTC or other markets should not be expected immediately, as it is unclear when and how long this full node blockchain data collection venture will last.