TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington: SEC Is “Single-Handedly F***ing” The Crypto Industry
TechCrunch co-founder and Arrington XRP Capital partner Michael Arrington came out swinging against the SEC at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Arrington claims that the SEC is “single-handedly f***ing” the crypto industry in the United States, stifling innovation and discouraging investment.
Arrington is a staunch crypto evangelist. He’s a fund manager who has promised to “devote the next 10 years” of his life to cryptocurrency and blockchain. Arrington was asked to speak about the United States Securities and Exchange Commission at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. Let’s just say he didn’t hold back.
Arrington started by telling a personal story about the SEC stifling crypto investment. As reported by AMBCrypto:
“Aw, f***ing SEC. I invested in a company as a private person last year, not as a fund, and they sent me a subpoena. and it was literally accusing me of crime. The CEO of the company had spoken at a TechCrunch conference years after I left TechCrunch, [and] I had to spend $30000 to get them to f*** of.”
Arrington added that he’s a libertarian who is against government intervention in general. He later mentioned that he feels the SEC is “single-handedly f***ing” the crypto industry in the United States.
As evidence, Arrington cited the huge investments pouring into the crypto and blockchain space in other parts of the world:
“80-90% of our investments are in Asia, Europe and Israel right now because they’re actually countries where there’s regulatory certainty that entrepreneurs feel safe starting token companies or blockchain companies. Here they don’t. There’s so much regulatory uncertainty.”
Arrington didn’t just stop with the SEC. He started complaining about all types of US government systems, including things like taxes and visa burdens that discourage people from starting a company in the United States. He also criticized America’s current immigration policy that is preventing qualified people from visiting the United States:
“They’re staying in Singapore or Israel or Europe instead of coming here and starting companies. The SEC needs to get their act together.”
The SEC obviously has no jurisdiction over American immigration policy. However, they do control how the crypto industry is regulated. Since crypto exploded onto the scene in 2017, the SEC has made few major decisions regarding bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Countries like Japan have declared bitcoin a national currency. Countries like Switzerland have implemented specific regulatory frameworks for blockchain companies. In the eyes of Arrington, the United States is lagging behind its global competitors.
Michael Arrington is the co-founder of TechCrunch. He later left the company to enter the venture capital space through his fund called CrunchFund, a fund that he later left under controversial terms.
During the Disrupt conference this past week, Arrington was asked about his departure from CrunchFund. Arrington claims the dispute arose over crypto. His partners didn’t want to invest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but he did:
“Everything is fine. I wanted to do crypto, my partners didn’t. I believe in this, obviously.”
Arrington also claimed to enjoy the crypto VC space more than the traditional VC space. He described how VC in the crypto space moves much more quickly, for example.
Ultimately, Arrington seems to have a personal problem with the SEC regarding his investments as a private person. Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that the SEC isn’t exactly encouraging innovation in the crypto space, nor are they giving crypto companies any reason to establish themselves in the United States. As the US SEC falters, countries like Singapore, Switzerland, and Malta are winning big.