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A16z Crypto Lawyer Unleashes Scathing Attack On US SEC, Spot Ethereum ETF In Danger?

Miles Jennings, the General Counsel at a16z Crypto, one of the world’s largest venture capital firms, has launched a blistering attack on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its handling of crypto regulation.

Are The United States SEC Lawyers At The Enforcement Division Abusing Power?

The lawyer specifically targeted the agency’s crypto enforcement division in a post on X. Not only does the General Counsel think the division has “incompetent” lawyers, but they are “complicit in the ongoing abuses of power,” especially in light of the Debt Box case.

Last year, the United States SEC sued Debt Box, accusing them of fraud, leading to the loss of over $49 million for investors. At the center of the contentious case, the regulator claimed that though DebtBox claimed they were selling node licenses to prospective investors for mining cryptocurrencies, none of these coins ended up being mined. 

Debt Box countered these charges and won. The judge sided with the blockchain firm, accusing the United States SEC of presenting “misleading statements and abusing power.”

Pressure has been mounting on the agency because of the outcome of the DebtBox ruling. Most critics, especially in the crypto and blockchain sector, endorse the court’s verdict that the SEC abuses power.

In the post on X, Jennings said the United States SEC’s pursuit of DebtBox was a “symptom of hyper politicization” that has shaken their trust in the enforcement division. 

Spot Ethereum ETF Next, Same Outcome As DebtBox?

For this reason, the lawyer said a16z Crypto will no longer work with law firms that hire former SEC crypto enforcement lawyers. Jennings argues that this move is necessary to combat the alleged issues within the SEC. 

Even so, no official statement from the venture capital firm supports this statement.

The post remains controversial, drawing varied comments. While some commentators supported the lawyer’s stance, others argued that blacklisting law firms hiring from the enforcement division will be “punitive.” 

Amid the storm, some are defending the professionalism and ethics of some of the agency’s lawyers, acknowledging there could be “bad faith” actors in any organization.

How the agency will respond to criticism remains to be seen, especially from the crypto community. The commission will likely be under fire as laws are drafted and policy evolves. 

Ethereum price trending upward on the daily chart | Source: ETHUSDT on Binance, TradingView
Ethereum price trending upward on the daily chart | Source: ETHUSDT on Binance, TradingView

Presently, eyes are also on the United States SEC and how they will rule on the multiple spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In a recent post on X, Paul Grewal, the General Counsel for Coinbase, said the agency has “no reason to decline applications made for the product.”

Feature image from Canva, chart from TradingView


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