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US Regulators ‘Subpoena Speaker on Escalator’ at NY Crypto Event

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe/Feng Yu

A Messari-organized event allegedly saw unwelcome – and unticketed – regulators crash the party to serve a crypto speaker with a subpoena. The Messari founder and CEO Ryan Selkis has reacted angrily to the incident, claiming on Twitter that he intends to declare “war” on what he labeled an “out-of-control regulatory state” – by running for election in the Senate.

The alleged incident took place during Mainnet 2021, a three-day event in New York. Event attendee Slava Rubin, the Founder and Managing Partner of Humbition, claimed he had “witnessed a guy get served by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the top of the escalator” directly “before going on stage for his panel.”

Selkis did not reveal the identity of the panelist in question. He also later claimed that his remark about ticketing had been in jest.

But the Messari boss claimed his desire to run for the Senate was real. With many claiming in replies that they would vote for him in 2024, Selkis added:

“[It is] time to activate the crypto political machine.”

The Messari chief went on to warn that his firm had offered a “ton of passes for regulators and congressional staff that wanted to learn more about crypto.”

But, he lamented:

“They don’t want to learn. They want to shut crypto down in the US. Full stop.”

And it appears that American crypto firms are not the only ones under pressure: The SEC itself has been told to impose its authority on a “Wild West” crypto sector – calling for “vigorous enforcement.”

Bloomberg reported that “the Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, the Consumer Federation of America and others” had written a letter to the SEC to “single out stablecoins, crypto lending and exchanges.”

The group claimed that investor protection was now paramount, with the media outlet noting that the letter urged the SEC “not create a carve-out for the crypto market.”

The parties took particular aim at the USD-pegged stablecoins tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), claiming that “clearly, both products may create significant risks to investors and consumers.”

The authors wrote, further:

“Without significant regulatory guidance, the digital asset marketplace has been born and grown into a Wild West. It is urgent for the SEC and other federal financial regulators to enforce the law to better protect investors and improve the integrity and stability of the digital asset markets.”

Learn more: 
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