It’s too early to write off bitcoin, Ethereum or ICOs due to temporary market blips because the technology is revolutionary. And that won’t change — regardless of whether crypto prices go up or down, says blockchain attorney Stephen Palley.
Moreover, Palley does not believe that recent regulatory crackdowns by the US Securities and Exchange Commission have affected bitcoin prices, despite what some analysts think.
No Relationship Between SEC and Crypto Prices
“I’m not sure that there is necessarily any connection between recent SEC activity and the price of cryptocurrencies,” Palley told Bloomberg TV. “It’s difficult for me to see a causal relationship.”
Palley noted that the United States is not the only virtual currency market in the world and that securities laws differ by nation. Therefore, SEC enforcement actions don’t necessarily affect the entire crypto universe.
Despite the recent market slump, Palley is bullish about the long-term future of cryptocurrencies.
“I would not write off bitcoin, and I would not write off Ethereum,” he said. “These are very interesting technologies.”
Accordingly, he does not believe that short-term market fluctuations will have any impact on the industry’s long-term viability.
SEC Is Not Trying To Deter ICOs
When asked if the SEC was trying to send a message to the crypto community with its high-profile take-downs of two ICOs (Paragon and AirFox), Palley said no.
As CCN reported, the SEC ordered Paragon and AirFox to pay a $350,000 fine and to refund investors who had participated in their initial coin offerings. Paragon was ordered to repay $12 million to investors, while AirFox was ordered to refund $15 million.
Palley doesn’t believe that the SEC actions were meant to send a chilling message in order to deter ICO activity.
“I don’t know if the SEC is in the business of sending messages when it engages in enforcement activities or when it enters cease-and-desist orders with companies that have violated securities laws,” he said.
“The SEC, for some time, has made it clear that while [crypto] could be really nifty technology, securities laws still apply.”
‘Follow the Law’
Basically, Palley is saying that the virtual currency community shouldn’t think that securities laws don’t apply to them simply because crypto is a new technology.
“The [SEC] message might be: We told you. Follow the law,” he said.
Stephen Palley also noted that SEC actions have not dampened interest in ICOs. He recently got a call from someone in Europe who wanted to do an ICO.
“I don’t think that the interest [in ICOs] has gone away,” he said. “There was this silly notion that you could raise money to build a business by selling something that would give someone access to the business that you’re building, and somehow you could get away with not complying with securities laws.”
Palley underscored: “The notion that you could use ICOs as a way to raise capital and [avoid] US securities law compliance — that, for anybody with an ounce of common sense, is a dead letter.”
Palley’s bullish outlook echoed the sentiments of Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, who stands by his $15,000 bitcoin price target for 2018.
Like Palley, Lee said SEC scrutiny will bolster the crypto industry by easing consumer and institutional anxiety. This, in turn, will legitimize the market and promote mainstream adoption.
“The next wave of adoption is institutional,” Lee said. “There is a crossover happening. This is just an awkward transition.”
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