‘Mission accomplished.’ How the SEC can save face amidst crypto court failures

When you find yourself in a hole, just stop digging


J.J. Gouin/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


It’s been a miserable few weeks for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, after multiple court rulings sided with the crypto industry, humbling the regulatory body and forcing it to scramble for its next move. But there is one simple way for the heavily scrutinized agency to save face.

In what could turn out to be an “everything is bon” moment following its scorched earth efforts, Michael Anderson expects the SEC’s messaging to shift to a “mission accomplished” theme. 

On the Bell Curve podcast (Spotify/Apple), the Framework Ventures co-founder posits the SEC’s next potential shift in strategy. “The SEC is going to say, ‘We did it. We regulated it. It’s now safe.’”

Now that Wall Street folks appear to be joining in the criticism with brutal takedowns of the SEC’s moves as failed “power grabs,” the agency will likely try to turn recent events “into a positive,” Anderson says.

Read more: Court grants Grayscale’s petition for review in bitcoin ETF case against SEC

Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer compares the phenomenon to recent about-face behavior from Federal Trade Commission chairperson, Lina Khan, who has shown a pattern of being “very aggressive — and losing” in the past. “Now she’s been more favorable, waving things through,” he says.

“At a certain point you just need to stop losing,” Spencer says. “What do you do when you find yourself in a hole? Just stop digging. And then just try to crawl your way out and maintain dignity.” 

Political wheels are turning

Some interesting dates to look out for a change in messaging are upcoming, Spencer says, with Sept. 12 slated for SEC chair Gary Gensler to testify before the Senate banking and House Financial Services committees.

A number of important potential approval dates arrive in Q4, Spencer says, “which is exciting,” with the 240 day decision deadline in Q1, March of 2024. 

“You have 240 days to review an ETF if you’re the SEC,” says Jason Yanowitz. “Seven out of the eight open bitcoin ETFs — BlackRock, Fidelity, Wisdom Tree, Valkyrie, Bitwise — a whole bunch of those are in March.”

Referring to a recent quote-post on X, formerly known as Twitter, by Vivek Ramaswamy, Anderson notes “You also had one of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination quote tweet Kathryn Haun about the SEC losing three-zero.” 

In the post, Ramaswamy describes America’s federal courts as the “only remaining line of defense against the unlawful rogue behaviors of 3-letter government agencies,” adding that the recent Grayscale decision “clears a path to keep Bitcoin & blockchain innovation in the U.S. instead of overseas.”

“You’re going to start to see all the candidates start to build a perspective,” Anderson says. “You’ve got RFK announcing his presidency at Bitcoin Miami. You’ve got Vivek Ramaswamy talking about and quote-tweeting Katie Haun. I think this is going to become a new rallying cry.” 

“If you want to reach the younger demographics,” Anderson says, “this is going to be a good way to do that.”
Spencer replies, “Bitcoin and crypto push back against the regulatory apparatus, nanny state. And I don’t think there’s many other assets that fulfill that role.”

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