The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reopened the comment period on proposed amendments to its Exchange Act, according to an announcement made on April 14. The proposed change concerns the definition of “exchange” under Exchange Act Rule 3b-16, which could impact certain cryptocurrency platforms. The new definition could broaden the definition of exchange to require registration from services that are not usually considered exchanges, such as DeFi platforms. While the SEC has not yet made the proposed changes, it acknowledges that this possibility could affect the crypto industry.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler stated that the comment period “will help address comments…from various market participants, particularly those in the crypto markets”. Meanwhile, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has published a letter of dissent on the SEC website, stating that if implemented, the change would prevent innovation and that the SEC aims to use its authority to “solve problems that do not exist.” The advocacy group Coin Center has also reiterated its earlier criticism, arguing that the change is unconstitutional.
The proposed change is just one of the SEC’s attempts to regulate the crypto industry more thoroughly. Recently, the SEC has enforced rules against staking and earning services and has advanced changes that could affect crypto custody. The SEC’s decision to reopen the comment period suggests that it is taking feedback from market participants and industry members seriously.