Regulations Round-Up: SEC “Underwhelmed” by Exchanges’ Reporting, Quebec Halts New Mining Operations Again

June 12, 2018
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In recent regulatory news, Brett Redfearn, the director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Division of Trading and Markets, has described the self-reporting efforts of cryptocurrency exchanges as “underwhelm[ing],” Hydro-Quebec has again suspended new applications from mining companies seeking to operate in the province, and the SEC has published a new page on its website encouraging consumers to “Get hip to the three ‘Rs’ of ICOs: Risks, Rewards, and Responsibilities.”

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SEC Director “Underwhelmed” by Self-Reporting Among Crypto Exchanges

Brett Redfearn, the director of the SEC’s division of trading and markets, stated that the regulator is “underwhelmed” by the efforts made by cryptocurrency exchanges to conform to the agency’s registration and self-reporting requirements during an interview with CNBC at the Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference last week.

“We’re underwhelmed by the enthusiasm for coming within the regulatory structure right now,” Mr. Redfearn stated. “There are [so many] exchanges that are trading ICOs that I would think that we would see more registrations.”

Mr. Redfearn also declined to comment on whether ETH or XRP comprise securities, however, stated that the SEC will issue statements regarding “at least one of those products forthcoming in the future.”

Hydro-Quebec Again Suspends Applications for Mining Projects

Canadian state-owned utility provider and the fourth largest hydropower producer in the world, Hydro-Quebec, has again halted new applications from prospective cryptocurrency mining operations.

The halting of new applications was spurred by a request from the provincial government that Hydro-Quebec restrict the total power allotted to cryptocurrency miners to no more than 500 megawatts – a small fraction of the 17,000 megawatts thus far requested by mining companies seeking to operate in Quebec.

Pierre Moreau, Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, reportedly stated that he asked Hydro-Quebec to suspend the approval of new virtual currency mining operations until regulators determine appropriate guidelines for the province’s mining industry. Mr. Moreau added that the province will seek to develop guidelines enabling it to select “the best among the companies” seeking to establish mining operations in Quebec. Eric Filion, Hydro-Quebec’s Distribution President, indicated that the new regulatory apparatus will seek to bolster Quebec’s economy whilst ensuring cheap power is available to residents.

“Get Hip to the Three ‘Rs’ of ICOs: Risks, Rewards, and Responsibilities”

The SEC has published a page on its website which, according to its meta-description, seeks to help investors and market “Get hip to the three ‘Rs’ of ICOs.”

The page emphasized that ICOs may comprise “securities offerings,” that ICOs “may need to be registered”, and emphasizes that whilst tokens “can be called a variety of names, […] merely calling a token a ‘utility’ token or structuring it to provide some utility does not prevent the token from being a security.”

The page also implores prospective investors to conduct independent research and due diligence, and warns the promotion of unregistered securities may result in legal consequences.

What are your thoughts on the current regulatory climate surrounding cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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