Today the Commission is called upon to consider novel and complex questions about how our governing statute, the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), applies in a world of digital assets, blockchain technology, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) — technology that did not exist when the statute was enacted in 1974, and that has just started to develop since Congress last amended the statute as part of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010.
Unfortunately, I cannot support the Commission’s approach to this particular matter.  While I do not condone individuals or entities blatantly violating the CEA or our rules, we cannot arbitrarily decide who is accountable for those violations based on an unsupported legal theory amounting to regulation by enforcement while federal and state policy is developing. For these reasons, I am respectfully dissenting in this matter.
As I mentioned, I do not approve of or excuse activity that violates the CEA or those who direct others to participate in unlawful activity. Thus, there are parts of the Commission’s two related enforcement actions in this matter that I support: