Regulators Should Block Firms From ‘Combining’ Crypto Functions, Says IOSCO
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) today released a report outlining policy recommendations for global crypto recommendation as part of the public consultation process.
Members of the public can view the full report here and have until July 31 to send in comments and feedback by email.
The IOSCO specifically advised regulators to prohibit crypto companies “from combining certain functions in a single legal entity or group of affiliated entities,” such as prohibiting crypto companies from also running exchanges, trading firms, and custody businesses under the same legal entity.
The IOSCO is a global policy forum made up of regulators that collectively oversee 95% of the world’s securities market across 130 jurisdictions. Last year, the organization established a Fintech Task Force (FTF) to develop its crypto policy recommendations.
The eighteen new recommendations cover six areas, including conflicts of interest stemming from the vertical integration of activities and functions, cross-border risks and regulatory cooperation, as well as a category for market manipulation, insider trading, and fraud.
“Regulation of crypto activities across jurisdictions is overdue,” Ernst and Young EMEIA lead shared with Decrypt. “A global baseline of guardrails is a positive step forward, but it is also an ambitious undertaking and it remains to be seen just how effective it can be in practice.”
FTX collapse informs policy-making
The IOSCO’s recommendations around conflicts of interest and vertical come in the wake of one of the industry’s largest collapses in the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
At its height, FTX was the third largest crypto exchange behind Binance and Coinbase.
It collapsed during a bank run after CEO Changpeng Zhao announced his exchange would liquidate its position in FTT—FTX’s native token—in response to rumors that FTX CEO and onetime regulators’ friend Sam Bankman-Fried was lobbying “against other industry players behind their backs.”
The bank run exposed a shortfall in liquidity as a result of the fact that FTX had commingled customer funds and sent them to its sister company Alameda Research after the latter had impairment on a few bad trades.