Ethereum And Ripple Commit Securities Fraud: Michael Saylor
Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor notoriously doesn’t care much about altcoins, including Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum (ETH). In a most recent podcast appearance, Saylor spoke out about the classification of those cryptocurrencies as securities.
In reference to the legal battle between Ripple Labs and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Saylor laid out that he believes Ripple is an unregistered security.
“It’s pretty obvious,” the MicroStrategy CEO said, continuing, “It’s a company. The company owns a bunch of it. They sell it to the general public, but they never took the company public. There’s no disclosures.”
This Is Why Ethereum (ETH) And Ripple (XRP) Are Securities
He shared the same opinion about the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum. According to Saylor, ETH is an unregistered security because “it’s controlled by a few people – the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys … Just like FTT, just like Solana.”
The MicroStrategy CEO went on to elaborate, laying out that pretty much all altcoins are securities, and should be subject to SEC enforcement:
I think the best thing for the world would be if the SEC pretty much shuts down all of it. It’s all unethical.
While Bitcoin is an ethical commodity, all altcoins are just equity tokens issued by a company to avoid an IPO. “And they are committing securities fraud,” Saylor touted.
“Especially Ethereum.” The Bitcoin bull pointed out that Ethereum has $20 billion in ETH tokens locked up in a deposit contract at the moment, and it’s currently unclear when withdrawals will be possible.
As Bitcoinist reported, withdrawals from the ETH 2.0 deposit contract are still not possible after the timeline pushed back several times. Currently, redemptions are scheduled for the Shanghai update, which will be the next major update after the merge. The fork is currently slated for March 2023.
In reference to this, Saylor criticized the fact that there is a small group of people who decide if and when redemptions from the deposit contract will be allowed.
Now, isn’t that the definition of an investment contract? If a bank took $20 billion of your assets, froze the window and said ‘You can’t have your money back, ever, maybe in the year 2024. We are not sure.[…] We may give you interest on it.’ That’s the definition of a security.
The MicroStrategy CEO generalized that you can’t rely on a few engineers, a company, or a CEO if a crypto asset is supposed to be a commodity. He concluded:
It’s an investment of money in a common enterprise, relying on the efforts of others in an expectation of profits. If a person can make a decision, it’s not a commodity.
Ripple is attempting to dispute the application of that very definition to XRP in its litigation with the SEC. The fair notice warning as well as the common enterprise argument are among the most promising arguments for Ripple to win.
“They’re are committing securities fraud… especially Ethereum.”@saylor gives his thoughts on Ethereum and Rippe pic.twitter.com/STsuLX5FQh
— PBD Podcast (@PBDsPodcast) December 6, 2022
CFTC And SEC Hint At Tight Regulation
Remarkably, Saylor just recently shared a Fortune report on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s assessment. At an event, Chairman Rostin Behnam stated that the only cryptocurrency that should be considered a commodity is Bitcoin.
In doing so, the Behnam-led agency completely backtracked from previous assessments in which the agency referred to ETH as a commodity. Just one month earlier, Behnam gave a speech for the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance and took the opposite stance.
Michael Saylor’s opinion is also consistent with recent comments by Gary Gensler. The SEC Chairman suggested that Ethereum’s proof of stake could lead to the token being considered a security.
At press time, the ETH price saw a drawdown of 3.5%, falling to $1,226.