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Crypto might even see second wind within the US as courts ‘rein within the SEC’ — Lawyer

There are hopes that the United States could see a latest crypto resurgence after several rulings this 12 months have seen court judges “rein within the SEC,” in response to a digital asset lawyer from K&L Gates.

On Aug. 31, Jeremy McLaughlin, a partner at the worldwide law firm, noted that multiple U.S. court cases have stomped on arguments from Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, who has said that just about all digital assets are securities.

McLaughlin was speaking on a panel at Intersekt23 in Melbourne alongside payment services firm Novatti chief Effie Dimitropoulos and Invest Hong Kong fintech head King Leung.

He said early crypto regulation happened on the state level and was “pretty clear what you needed to do” but after the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission got involved “lots of the market began to close up.”

“People delisted tokens, some firms pulled out of the U.S. because they saw how aggressive the SEC was being, and continues to be,” McLaughlin said.

“Now that the courts are beginning to rein within the SEC a bit, I believe there’s some hope that the industry is type of igniting again within the U.S.”

In recent months the SEC has been handed a loss in a suit it brought against a crypto firm and in addition lost a suit a crypto firm brought against it.

On Aug. 29 a U.S. District Court judge ruled against the SEC over Grayscale Investments being denied its application to convert its flagship Bitcoin (BTC) fund into an exchange-traded fund.

Dimitropoulos (center-left), McLaughlin (center-right) and Leung (right) speaking on a panel regarding crypto regulation. Source: Tom Mitchelhill/Cointelegraph

In July, the SEC also took a partial loss in its case against Ripple Labs over XRP (XRP) sales when a judge ruled it wasn’t a security when sold to retail traders.

“To be a lawyer within the space, it’s quite difficult to advise clients,” McLaughlin remarked. He added he it was also frustrating that he couldn’t give clients clear answers.

He does see hope, nevertheless, that crypto regulations are emerging from the “pit of chaos.”

“Finally, there are cases which are being filed and the selections have been going strongly within the favor of the digital asset industry,” McLaughlin added.

Aussies ‘lagging’ while others gain

In one other a part of the discussion, the panelists were asked about their thoughts on the state of Australia’s crypto laws, in comparison with others. Novatti’s Dimitropoulos had one word: “Lagging.”

Dimitropoulos pointed to latest regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong and the European Union as proof Australia’s crypto regulations were falling behind.

“It’s very clear to say that Australia is lagging. What which means […] Is how that affects on-the-ground businesses which are operating with digital assets.”

She highlighted the overhead needed for local crypto firms to get legal advice “that might be defunct in three minutes’ time.”

Related: Coinbase stock surges after favorable federal ruling for Grayscale

“We hear the Treasurer goes to return out with regulation, [the Australian Securities and Investments Commisson] goes to do something, Senator Bragg’s bill in play,” she said.

“There are so many pieces which are still in play with no clear resolution as to when it is going to occur. So that supports my word: ‘Lagging.’”

Magazine: Crypto regulation — Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the ultimate say?

Additional reporting by Tom Mitchelhill.

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