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Blockchain technology is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices. In this podcast, host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and cryptocurrency will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.

Oct 5, 2021

How does the SEC determine if a token is a security? Why is DeFi particularly hard to regulate? What will regulators do about stablecoins? On Unchained, Greg Xethalis, chief compliance officer at Multicoin Capital, and Collins Belton, founding partner at Brookwood P.C., dive into crypto regulation, discussing securities laws, DeFi regulation, and why the US should be promoting stablecoins rather than trying to shut them down. Highlights:

  • why the SEC and CFTC have not announced bigger crypto enforcement news at the end of their fiscal years
  • why the SEC is going after DINO (decentralized in name only) companies
  • what the Howey and Reves tests areand how the SEC uses themto determine whether an asset is a security or not
  • why Collins and Greg think the SEC has recently begun been applying Reves more often
  • why they think centralized crypto lending products should not be considered securities under the Howey test
  • whether new legislation needs to be written for cryptocurrency-based products
  • what makes Collins think the SEC is being “disingenuous” regarding the SEC registration process for crypto companies, like Coinbase
  • how regulators will end up handling DeFi and why both Greg and Collins are long-term optimistic
  • how the US government has a “great history” of respecting privacy and encryption
  • why regulatory pressure is likely to build up around centralized crypto exchanges and what we can learn from the EtherDelta case
  • why Collins thinks most cryptocurrency companies should be regulated 
  • why the SEC is the best motivator for forcing protocols to fully decentralize
  • how smart contracts could theoretically be used to standardize SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s Safe Harbor proposal
  • how blockchain data makes cryptocurrency companies more transparent and easier to regulate than centralized entities
  • what Collins and Greg think will happen with stablecoin regulation going forward
  • why the US should be pushing to make dollar-pegged stablecoins more prominent


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Greg Xethalis


Collins Belton


Cases Mentioned


Regulatory Stories






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