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SEC:投资者应该了解的5个比特币监管真相

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯监管与政策

SEC:投资者应该了解的5个比特币监管真相

比特币已经成为了整个投资领域最关注的热点,但随着对数字货币感兴趣的人越来越多,美国证券交易委员会(SEC)也开始表达自己对比特币和其他加密资产的立场。几个月前,美国证券交易委员会主席杰伊·克莱顿(Jay Clayton)就对加密数字货币和ICO发表了看法。虽然监管框架没有做出较大变化,但是他已经释放出了一些关键信息。

作为美国证券市场最重要的角色和全球最大的股票市场之一,纳斯达克最近发文总结了美国证券交易委员会需要让投资者了解的五个最重要态度:

1、市场没有任何一个加密资产在美国证券交易委员会注册过

投资者必须要明白,迄今为止,没有任何ICO项目在美国证券交易委员会注册过,而且美国证券交易委员会至今也从来没有批准任何持有加密数字货币、或是与加密数字货币相关的其他资产交易所交易产品(比如ETF)上市和交易。

美国证券交易委员会要提醒的是,与股票和其他传统证券相比,加密数字货币相关投资者所获得的保护更少,数字货币项目要求披露的信息也更少,甚至没有——这也为数字货币投资其中和潜在的价格操纵提供了机会。

杰伊·克莱顿重申,任何说自己的数字货币项目已经在美国证券交易委员会注册了,都是不正确的。

2、美国证券交易委员会没有能力给你提供任何帮助

由于数字货币市场跨越国界,一些重大交易可能发生在美国领土以外的系统和平台上,因此投资者的资金可能会在不知情的情况下被转出国,继而进一步扩大了风险,包括美国证券交易委员会在内的市场监管机构可能无法有效追捕坏人、或是无法帮助受害者追回资金。

美国投资者的股票受到美国证券交易委员会监管,银行存款受到联邦存款保险公司担保,证券账户受到证券投资者保护局保护,所以他们并不担心欺诈和不当行为发生。但是,由于加密资产背后的技术本质,导致其很难追踪到任何特定的国家,美国监管机构也无法接触、追踪到购买这些数字资产的资金。

3、一些ICO实际上就是有价证券

虽然有些业内人士称ICO不受证券法约束,因为加密数字货币是商品而不是证券。但是ICO结构往往模仿了股票IPO。因此,美国证券交易委员会得出结论认为,提供加密数字代币其实就是在向企业投资资金,而合理的利润预期来自于企业或管理层的努力。因此,一些ICO实际上就是有价证券。

4、随着数字货币使用量增加,美国证券交易委员会审查也会增多

正如美国证券交易委员会非常关注美元、欧元和日元交易如何影响证券市场一样,他们对数字货币也有同样的责任。

如果持有美元这样的货币,而非证券,那么货币交易则不受证券法约束。但是如果券商和上市公司彼此使用数字货币进行支付,那么美国证券交易委员会将会对涉嫌证券相关的非法交易或金融交易展开调查,确保不会存在任何违规行为。

5、美国证券交易委员会本身并不反对比特币

ICO和数字货币背后的技术可能已经被证明具有颠覆性和革命性,金融科技的发展有助于资本成型,并且为机构投资者和华尔街投资者带来更多、更有前途的投资机会。

美国证券交易委员会和其他监管机构并没有完全反对比特币和其他加密数字货币投资,只是希望市场参与者必须要了解所需的知识和信息,以便在进行投资的时候做出恰当的评估。美国证券交易委员会认为,数字货币公司可以与监管机构和做,为投资者提供更有价值的信息,避免潜在问题发生。

Bitcoin has taken the investing universe by storm, making early adopters rich and capturing the imagination of millions of people worldwide. As the number of people interested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has risen, the potential for abuse has gone up with it. That has caught the interest of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the regulatory agency has made its own positions on bitcoin and other crypto-related assets as clear as possible.

SEC Chair Jay Clayton offered some thoughts on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings a couple of months ago. Although the regulatory framework for bitcoin and similar crypto assets is continually in flux, Clayton had several key messages for those thinking about investing in the cryptocurrency arena. Here are five of the most important ones you should know about.

1. There are no SEC-registered investments in crypto-related assets.

Investors should understand that to date, no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC. The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies.

The SEC is aware that crypto-related investments have less investor protection than stocks and other traditional securities, with few or no disclosure requirements. That has opened up opportunities for fraud related to these investments as well as potential manipulation of their prices.

Clayton was quick to warn investors that anyone who says their investment is SEC-registered is incorrect. Before investing in crypto-related assets, it's essential to ask questions and get clear answers in order to understand exactly what you're getting into.

2. The SEC's ability to help you is almost nil

These markets span national borders and significant trading may occur on systems and platforms outside the United States. Your invested funds may quickly travel overseas without your knowledge. As a result, risks can be amplified, including the risk that market regulators such as the SEC may not be able to effectively pursue bad actors or recover funds.

U.S. investors have gotten used to the idea that government entities like the SEC for stocks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for bank deposits, and the Securities Investor Protection Bureau for brokerage accounts will be able to help them in cases of fraud or misconduct. Yet the intangible technology-based nature of crypto assets makes them difficult to trace to any particular country, and the money that goes toward purchasing these assets can easily move out of reach of U.S. regulators. That's unfamiliar territory for many investors, but it's the state of affairs for cryptocurrency right now.

3. Some initial coin offerings are in fact securities

The Commission applied long-standing securities law principles to demonstrate that a particular token constituted an investment contract and therefore was a security under our federal securities laws.

Some professionals have asserted that initial coin offerings aren't subject to securities laws because cryptocurrency is a commodity rather than a security. The structure of ICOs, however, often closely mimics that of a public offering of stock. In at least one case, the SEC concluded that an offering of a cryptocurrency token was "an investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others." That would require registration for the ICO for sale to the general public, and the fact that enterprises making ICOs aren't registering their offerings is troubling to the SEC.

4. As cryptocurrency use increases, SEC scrutiny will rise

It is clear that just as the SEC has a sharp focus on how U.S. dollar, euro, and Japanese yen transactions affect our securities markets, we have the same interests and responsibilities with respect to cryptocurrencies.

Cash holdings like U.S. dollars aren't securities, and so trading currency isn't subject to securities laws. However, to the extent that brokerage companies and other businesses that are direct participants in securities markets start to allow payments made in cryptocurrencies, the SEC will have an interest in ensuring that there's no illicit trading or financial transactions associated with the purchase and sale of securities. Extension of credit for cryptocurrency holdings is another area that could trigger scrutiny in the future.

5. The SEC isn't anti-bitcoin per se

The technology on which cryptocurrencies and ICOSs are based may prove to be disruptive, transformative and efficiency-enhancing. I am confident that developments in fintech will help facilitate capital formation and provide promising investment opportunities for institutional and Main Street investors alike.

Contrary to popular opinion, the SEC and other regulators aren't entirely opposed to bitcoin and other cryptocurrency investments. They just want market participants to have the knowledge and information they need to evaluate such investments properly. The SEC believes that crypto-based enterprises can work with the regulatory community to give investors this valuable information and avoid potential problems before they happen.

Be careful with bitcoin

Many bitcoin enthusiasts are happy that the cryptocurrency has little regulatory oversight. In the SEC's view, that state of affairs isn't likely to last much longer. Cryptocurrency investors need to watch closely as regulatory guidelines start to form that could transform the way bitcoin and other crypto markets function in the future.


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