Money 20/20: Monica Long Criticizes SEC for US Crypto Entry

At Money 20/20, Monica Long, President of Ripple, and Arjun Kharpal, CNBC’s Senior Correspondent, tackled the critical topic of crypto infrastructure. Their conversation revolved around the theme “Building Infrastructure Fundamentals,” shedding light on how traditional financial institutions view and adopt digital assets.

Shift in U.S. Legislation and Financial Institutions

Monica Long highlighted a notable shift in U.S. legislation and traditional finance, referencing the approval of the Bitcoin ETF as a pivotal moment. She emphasized BlackRock’s involvement as a significant milestone, indicating a growing acceptance of crypto technology as a viable financial framework. Long noted that many financial institutions are gradually embracing crypto technology, acknowledging its potential to revolutionize finance.

Despite the recent approvals of Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs, Long stressed the necessity for clearer regulations. She pointed out the real-world applications of digital assets, particularly in institutional decentralized finance (DeFi). Basic banking transactions, such as deposits, payments, lending, credit, and capital markets, can greatly benefit from a more global, open, and efficient system. Long compared the transformative potential of blockchain in finance to the impact of the internet on communication.

European Union’s Progressive Crypto Regulations

Long praised the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation as an exemplary regulatory framework. She hinted at the United States’ slow but steady progress in improving its relationship with crypto. Entering the U.S. market through the SEC presents challenges, but there is hope for a more welcoming approach in the future.

The discussion also touched on the debate between private and public blockchains. Private blockchains, such as those used for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), continue to be relevant. However, public ledgers have seen significant advancements. For instance, Société Générale issued the first euro stablecoin on a public ledger, and Ripple is launching a regulated US dollar stablecoin.

Addressing Fraud in the Crypto Industry

Long addressed the issue of fraud within the crypto industry, distinguishing between fraudulent behavior and the technology itself. She emphasized that scandals like FTX are not reflective of the entire industry. Positive applications of blockchain technology continue to exist, and it’s essential to separate fraudulent activities from legitimate uses.

Long acknowledged that the industry still feels the aftermath of events like FTX’s collapse. However, she stressed the importance of recognizing the legitimate applications of blockchain technology and not painting the entire industry with the same brush.

By discussing these critical topics, Monica Long and Arjun Kharpal highlighted the ongoing evolution and challenges in the crypto industry, emphasizing the need for regulatory clarity, technological advancements, and a clear distinction between fraud and legitimate applications.

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