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Blockchain business heads call BitLicense ‘regulatory overreach’ – Consensus Day Two Recap

May 16th 2018: In today’s Consensus recap, Wall Street’s Brian Kelly launches a new Blockchain ETF, former BitLicense enrollees weigh in, and US regulators look to avoid ‘hindering’ innovation.

Former New York firms weigh-in on BitLicense

ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees and Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, weighed on in a flight from New York – calling the state’s ‘BitLicense’ laws a case of ‘regulatory overreach’.

During the exchange, Powell elaborated on conflicts between anti-money-laundering regulations and customer privacy protections under BitLicense, while Voorhees identified the US state of Wyoming as a leading light on cryptocurrency regulations.

Voorhees went on to say that “The crypto industry and regulators can find common ground in realizing that this incredible new technology can achieve many of the noble goals of the regulators such as protecting consumers.”

Wall Street’s Brian Kelly launches a new Blockchain ETF

Investment manager Brian Kelly is launching a new blockchain startup-based exchange-traded-fund (ETF) in partnership with REX Shares founder Gregg King.

As part of the new announcement, Kelly will manage an active portfolio of 30 companies using blockchain technology, and will specifically focus on enterprise blockchain, ‘Wall Street disruptors’, mining entities, and exchanges.

In an exclusive statement to CoinDesk, Kelly elaborated that “When I look at the investment landscape, to me blockchain and cryptocurrencies are a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity … if I look at every other asset class, to me the most attractive investment is blockchain and cryptocurrency. The growth is explosive [and] the potential is enormous.”

US officials play touch-and-go with regulations

In a panel discussion, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement director James McDonald, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division Cyber Unit chief Robert Cohen and associate deputy attorney general Sujit Raman elaborated on enforcement in cryptocurrency spheres.

The representatives, speaking in their personal capacities, outlined a need for regulation that did not come at the expense of innovation.

McDonald, in particular, quipped that “Our mission is to foster financially sound markets, and we understand as a regulator that requires a certain amount of [flexibility] in our approach. We’re doing it in a way that doesn’t hinder innovation and doesn’t interfere with other regulatory priorities”.