The McAfee Effect Strikes Again: House Looks To Reel In SEC
Friday, December 21, 2018
features | cryptocurrency | sec | regulation
In a rare show of sensible legislation, two U.S. congressmen have just introduced the bi-partisan “Token Taxonomy Act” in the House of Representatives, a bill that finally make clear what the legal status of digital currencies and tokens are, and that ancient securities laws written before World War II do not apply. This bill has been several months in the making, and is based in part on input from the industry.
You might be ready to breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing this news, but the prudent course would be to hold that breath and thought. The timetable on legislation implies that “this week's bill is largely symbolic. Friday is likely the last day Congress is in session and the bill will need to be reintroduced next year.” So, grandstanding. But... why?
Since it isn’t election season, it certainly is curious timing given that nothing can be expected to come from it. It could be that they don’t want it to pass, but that seems unlikely given the backgrounds of the representatives backing it. So again, why now?
The move does make sense if you consider that one of the most influential advocates of cryptocurrency, 2020 presidential candidate John McAfee, has been banging on the pulpit about the SEC and their overreach into the industry.
When the SEC fined boxer Floyd Mayweather and performer DJ Khaled, missing was the wave of vocal and public indignation from the industry. Most people fear the SEC, and do not wish to poke the tiger, regardless of their opinion. With what was a nearly lone voice, John McAfee took the SEC to task on Twitter, calling them out and questioning their jurisdiction. And he has not come off the gas since.
It would be fair for someone to choose to believe that his actions had no effect on the timing of this bill. They could choose to ignore the fact that the SEC has publicly displayed a laser-like focus on everything John McAfee says or does in the past. And they could ignore the fact that his announcement of his intention to seek the presidency again in 2020, on a platform of freedom and cryptocurrency, has only increased his relevance on the subject.
Maybe you’re comfortable believing this. This author takes it as yet another example of the “McAfee Effect.”