SEC Chairman Gensler Wants Disclosures From Crypto Issuers, Lawyer Says

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler wants disclosures from cryptocurrency issuers but recognizes that could be done differently than what publicly traded companies do now, Ashley Ebersole, a former SEC lawyer said Thursday on CoinDesk TV’s “All About Bitcoin."

Ebersole’s comments were in response to an interview Gensler did with Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation, earlier on Thursday.

Gensler “recognized that disclosure in the crypto as a context may not look the same … you're not going to get a 10-K or 10-Q every period from an issuer,” Ebersole said, referring to annual and quarterly financial reports that publicly traded companies must file with the SEC.

“The technology makes it unnecessary. In many cases, a lot of this is very transparent. So it's sort of case by case, but he recognized there may be a difference here, and he's open to that," Ebersole said.

Read more: Crypto Doesn't Need More Guidance, SEC Chair Gensler Says

In the meantime, dialogue between the SEC and cryptocurrency issuers is hindered by the agency’s approach, according to Ebersole, who is now chief legal officer at software provider 0x Labs.

“The SEC has not really shown an appetite for just having a discussion that does not hold the potential for enforcement activity,” he said. “Projects are very cautious.”

To solve that problem, Ebersole said he recommends “something analogous to Commissioner Peirce’s Safe Harbor proposal.”

The measure proposed by Hester Peirce, an SEC commissioner, would grant a three-year grace period for developers and require semiannual updates as well as an exit report.

“Something that would let projects come in and have a frank conversation without being worried the next letter they get from the SEC, or the next communication, is going to be a subpoena, is something that would probably be necessary,” Ebersole said.

Read more: As SEC Leans on Enforcement to Regulate, Crypto Lawyers Study Every Word