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DEF's June Recap

Here’s what the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) has been up to in June. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about a specific activity, please do not hesitate to reach out at contact@defieducationfund.org.


Submitting Comments on the SEC’s “Exchange” Rulemaking


On June 12, DEF submitted our third response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rulemaking that would expand the SEC’s definition of an “exchange” to include those persons who “make available” so-called “communication protocol systems,” a term that remains undefined in the proposal.


In our response, we make two primary arguments: first, the proposal improperly reads and misapplies the Securities Exchange Act and exceeds the SEC’s statutory authority and mandate under that Act; and second, the SEC flatly fails to comply with numerous procedural and statutory rulemaking requirements with this proposal.


This proposal is “tantamount to changing the definition of a ‘baseball team’ to include its fans—modifying the concept of a ‘team’ from one intuitively encompassing only the ‘organization, association, or group of persons’ associated with the team entity itself to one in which the team’s fans and third-party sportscasters, which perform certain ‘function[s]’ associated with putting on a game, join the roster."


The SEC is reviewing the latest round of public comments on this proposal and will then have to decide whether or not it wishes to proceed with finalizing it.


HMRC Submission


On June 22, we submitted comments in response to a consultation from His Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the United Kingdom’s tax authority, regarding “the taxation of DeFi involving the lending and staking of cryptoassets.”


In our submission, we argue that: 1) any tax rules that implicate DeFi must be flexible to account for future innovation; 2) exhibit simplicity and clarity to promote compliance by minimizing burdens on taxpayers; 3) and align with the underlying economic substance of a typical DeFi transaction.


We appreciate the welcome efforts of HMRC to create a clear tax framework that works for DeFi, and are thankful to have had the opportunity to comment.


Responding to Proposed Digital Asset Market Regulation Bill


On June 2, the House Financial Services Committee, along with the House Committee on Agriculture released a discussion draft for arguably the biggest piece of crypto legislation of the year. The discussion draft attempts to provide a statutory framework for digital asset regulation, give clarity, fill regulatory gaps, and foster innovation, while providing adequate consumer protections.


Once the draft was released, DEF sprung into action, figuring out how the proposed legislation would treat DeFi and the broader crypto ecosystem. This bill is worth watching.


Media


Op-Eds


Print/Online

  • Blockworks: SEC’s proposed exchange definition would cause ‘de facto expatriation’ of DeFi companies

    • “The upshot of this technological reality is that holding DeFi protocols to the requirements of the regulatory regimes governing national securities exchanges and ATSs would result in their de facto expatriation from the United States. DeFi is rapidly gaining trading market share in crypto assets, especially after recent and high-profile fraud and compliance issues at leading centralized and intermediated non-U.S. crypto asset exchanges,” the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) wrote in a 47-page response letter.




  • The Capitol Account: Talking `Impact' Litigation; SEC Officials on Hotseat in House; Stepping up Merger Scrutiny; Banks Bash SEC Custody Plan

    • Amanda Tuminelli, who is the new chief legal officer at the DeFi Education Fund, thinks there is probably a better way to get answers – in court. Her role at the decentralized finance advocacy group is to spearhead “impact litigation” designed to bring more clarity about the rules digital assets need to follow. And even though she’s only been on the job since March, Tuminelli already has a few targets in mind. (SEC Chair Gary Gensler may want to watch out.)

  • Anti-Corruption Report: SEC Steps Up Enforcement Actions Against Cryptocurrencies

    • Amanda Tuminelli, chief legal officer for the DeFi Education Fund, which advocates for regulatory clarity for a digital economy, said industry players have grappled with public antagonism as they seek the greater good of the industry.

Podcasts


  • The PGP for Crypto Podcast: Miller Whitehouse-Levine, CEO, and Amanda Tuminelli, Chief Legal Officer, DeFi Education Fund

    • The Pretty Good Policy for Crypto podcast welcomes Miller Whitehouse-Levine and Amanda Tuminelli of the DeFi Education Fund for a discussion of the fund's recent SEC filing and Tuminelli's experience as the fund's new Chief Legal Officer. Host Paul Briggner facilitates a conversation about Tuminelli's previous legal work, as well as her transition to working in the cryptocurrency industry. The episode sheds light on the DeFi Education Fund's goals for impact litigation and policy work, and the potential impact of their recent filing.


For up-to-date information about what’s happening in D.C. and what we are up to, please follow us on Twitter @fund_defi and subscribe to our Substack.


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