LBRY CEO Jeremy Kauffman called out the Securities and Exchange Commission at Messari’s Mainnet, as the file-sharing network faces scrutiny from the regulator.
The SEC charged LBRY with selling unregistered securities in March of last year. The Commission took issue with over $11 million in funding raised through the sale of LBRY Credits, which are now used to upload files and make payments on the blockchain-based platform but were offered for sale before the network was built.
That led the SEC to view LBRY Credits as investment contracts, based on the notion that people assumed they would increase in value after purchasing the tokens.
Kauffman said the company has been “fighting” the SEC for nearly five years and soon expects a federal judge to weigh in with a ruling on whether a full trial is necessary.
The verdict will have far-reaching implications for other companies as well, according to him, setting some level of precedent for companies that have raised money for their projects through an initial coin offering or ICO.
“The facts in this case would basically apply to every company in this room,” he said. “The SEC has very much demonstrated that they are out to damage or destroy the cryptocurrency industry in the United States.”
Not only was the CEO verbally critical of the Commission, he also wore a shirt that day which visually expressed condemnation of the regulator.
Even as Kauffman has faced pressure from regulators, he’s stepped into the political realm with the goal of being elected this year. If he’s elected, one of his main priorities will be bringing more attention to the cryptocurrency scene.
Kauffman is currently on the ballot in New Hampshire, representing the Libertarian party in a bid to be one of New Hampshire’s next U.S. senators.
A few cryptocurrency advocates have turned to New England to host campaigns, including Bruce Fenton and Brock Pierce, but have had little success securing a seat.
Fenton lost his campaign for the Senate earlier this month and Pierce never found his way onto the ballot in Vermont. However, Keith Ammon, a representative in the House from New Hampshire who was reelected in 2020, has a track record of supporting the industry.
“You send him a pro-crypto bill, it will be introduced the next session,” Kauffman said. “That’s the only way we can make blockchain legal–we have to get into office, we’ve got to pass new laws,” Kauffman said.
Kauffman believes that his file-sharing platform and libertarian ideology are somewhat aligned, in regards to how some feel about politics and social media. He said, “People are tired of having these bureaucrats – these middlemen – making these decisions for them.”