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Ethereum, Crypto Regulation and the SEC: Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Speaks His Mind
Shark Tank Star Kevin O’Leary Gets Frank with CNBC
When is Kevin O’Leary not frank? In a September interview with CNBC, Canadian businessman and longtime investor “shark” on ABC’s business reality TV series Shark Tank talked tough on ETH, crypto regulation, and the SEC.
O’Leary said stablecoins start to get interesting to investors when the 10-year Treasury note earns them less than inflation, which is presently the case. At the same time, until regulators start making some decisions about crypto, he and other investors are wary to dive in too deeply and risk being noncompliant, he said, explaining that “none of us that are in financial services want to actually be cowboys about this.”
O’Leary Needles the Securities Exchange Commission
There’s been much speculation in recent months if the SEC will finally approve a crypto ETF and presently at least a dozen applications for bitcoin ETFs have been submitted. However, the SEC is still grappling with issues surrounding investor protections. Namely, not one of the crypto-trading exchanges is currently regulated by the SEC.
The SEC’s continued hesitancy appears to be a source of frustration for O’Leary. The multimillionaire investor sees a great opportunity ahead if the regulator followed Canada’s and other countries’ lead by permitting financial services companies to call crypto an asset and put it into an ETF. Canada already has ETFs for both bitcoin and ethereum. If U.S regulators did so, O’Leary said he expects that buying into bitcoin would increase by another $1 trillion. That’s huge!
On Coinbase Lend
O’Leary said he’s bullish on crypto but also decentralized finance in general. He noted, however, that the SEC is threatening to sue Coinbase if it proceeds with plans for its Coinbase Lend feature, a DeFi lending product that would enable investors to loan out their crypto holdings and collect interest on them.
A Jab at ETC’s Lack of Speed
O’Leary, aka “Mr. Wonderful” also had some blunt words for ethereum which is notorious for its inability to scale effectively. Unfortunately, the same technology that helps ensure user privacy and security also causes ETC to be very slow in confirming token transfers.
“I find etherum – as a user, it’s too slow, and so there’s going to be other chains that are going to emerge,” he said.
On NYC’s First SALT Conference
The CNBC interview served as a prequel to the September 13-15 SALT Conference, which was held for the first time in NYC. O’Leary said financial institutions would be coming to the finance, technology, and geopolitical forum to discuss just these issues, namely when and how the SEC will start considering cryptocurrencies as an institutional asset class.