Why Kevin O'Leary, Jordan Belfort Welcome Crypto Regulation

Zinger Key Points
  • Kevin O'Leary and Jordan Belfort both said a clearer regulatory structure is needed to bring serious institutional investment in crypto.
  • During the bear market, leading blockchain networks are upgrading significantly to improve performance.
  • Institutional investors are beginning to see the end of the crypto bear market, according to a recent survey.
Why Kevin O'Leary, Jordan Belfort Welcome Crypto Regulation

Perhaps a bear market is really a time to grow, even if you aren’t a billionaire adding to your holdings. 

History was made Sept. 15 when the Ethereum ETH/USD Mainnet merged with the Beacon Chain to exist as one chain.

Most importantly, as the Ethereum Foundation stated in its announcement: “Ethereum's Proof-of-stake upgrade is finally here! 

The Proof-of-Stake (POS) consensus mechanism will ideally address concerns over costs, speed, capacity, and energy consumption on Ethereum Network.

On the same day, Cardano ADA/USD  announced what is being called its most ambitious upgrade yet.

Wave Of Crypto Developments: In the announcement made by Cardano developers Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK), Cardano said in a statement: “the Vasil upgrade significantly improves and enhances Cardano's capabilities. New Plutus v2 features and enhancements will enable DApp developers to create novel and exciting experiences, while diffusion pipelining unlocks the potential for greater throughput and network capacity."

The Cardano mainnet hardfork was originally given a June 29 deadline, but the upgrade was delayed because of bugs during testing. 

In the meantime, Solana SOL/USD is ready to own energy efficiency. The crypto recently announced a host of improvements, and Solana claims it can run the whole network for one hour on the same energy used for one Bitcoin transaction.

Cosmos ATOM/USD is convening at Cosmoverse, dubbed “the biggest Cosmos event of the year."

Cosmos reps are in the middle of three days in Medellin, Colombia, attending presentations intended to help projects in the Cosmos ecosystem make the best use of what Cosmos Hub has to offer. Cosmos recently teased in an interview that it will introduce improved interchain security that can be used by projects in the ecosystem.

The EOS Network EOS/USD Foundation (ENF) announced that it is merging EOS with Telos, Wax and UX Network, “combining resources into a coalition of blockchains with a shared codebase.”

“UX Network is a blockchain made for grown-ups – ready to scale to enterprise use cases and offer the security, speed, and price consistency for transactions that are needed to run a business and serve Web3 customers,” said Daryn Soards, CEO of UX Network. “The launch of Antelope protocol is a matter of the community steering its own ship without the centralized control of Block.One, creating protocols that support the vision and use cases we’ve been working on since 2017.”

Wolves, Sharks Calling for Clearer Crypto Regulation: Jordan Belfort, the speaker, entrepreneur and investor known as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” said in a recent interview that he was right in his 2017 assumptions about Bitcoin, but he has reversed his position that Bitcoin would become worthless. 

“I just said it’s a scam because it just seemed like that because of all the ear markings of that. What turned me, was slowly but surely, when (Bitcoin) crashed and it went down to $3,000, it was still a multi-billion dollar market.”

Belfort added that he viewed the risk of Bitcoin being banned as “pretty much over.”

“They’ll regulate, they’ll tax it, but I think that’s a good thing,” Belfort said.

Belfort has advocated for years that a clear regulatory structure in the U.S. is essential for stabilizing the crypto market and bringing in big institutional money, which tends to stay away when there is uncertainty.

Fortunately, a clear regulatory structure is on its way. In mid-August, the White House followed up on its March executive order with the "First-Ever Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets." 

The framework leverages existing regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, so the crypto world will be dealing with familiar regulators.

The SEC recently announced plans to "add an Office of Crypto Assets and an Office of Industrial Applications and Services to the Division of Corporation Finance's Disclosure Review Program (DRP)."

Kevin O'Leary, also known as "Mr. Wonderful," is a Canadian businessman, entrepreneur and television personality known for his work “Shark Tank,” said in an interview at Circle’s USDC/USD Converge ‘22 San Francisco that Bitcoin will struggle to reclaim the $22,000 level without regulatory clarity.     

O’Leary, like Belfort, believes that crypto will need clearer regulation to win over wealth and pension funds and ultimately reach $300,000.

Bitcoin did reach $22,000 on Sept. 22, though that is still down quite a bit from the all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021.

O’Leary is a strong advocate of Web3 technology, a spokesperson for FTX exchange and an investor in Circle, issuer of the USDC stablecoin. O’Leary also announced plans to launch a Web 3.0-focused investment fund called Cipher.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has made Ethereum supporters unhappy, saying in a statement on Sept. 15 that the Ethereum Merge puts the network into the category of staking-backed cryptocurrencies, which are very likely securities that should be regulated by the SEC.

The Future Of Crypto: Perhaps Belfort and O’Leary are right about the role of crypto regulation in stabilizing markets, but it won’t be a painless process.

Is there any relief on the horizon?

According to Nickel Digital Asset Management, based on a small survey of big money investors, there is a new sense of positivity that we are approaching the end of this bear market.

Recently, Nickel Digital did a survey of 200 institutional investors around the world that collectively manage $2.2 trillion in assets. The study showed that only 9% of investors felt the crypto bear market, but 58% responded that it would end within six months at the latest.

This seems like the kind of good news we can handle right now — positive, but not overwhelmingly sunny. While 67% of respondents feel the bear market has ended or is ending,  around 27% expected the bear market to last up to another year and 7% expect it to drag on even longer. 

Anatoly Crachilov, CEO of Nickel Digital, added: “Investors acknowledge that the ongoing crypto winter still has some way to run but there is also a recognition that, if history is any guide, once the winter ends these high-beta markets will stage strong recovery.”

The Last Word: In a bear market, a Web3 future may feel further away, but in fact the groundwork is being laid on technical and regulatory levels.

Ethereum’s Merge seems to have spurred alternative networks to sharpen their own offerings, showing that these projects are not sleeping through the crypto winter, but preparing for a brighter spring.

Innovation is one of humankind’s most precious resources. In the last bear market, NFTs became mainstream famous. It’s a matter of constant speculation as to what comes next, but it surely is being built as we speak.

On Dec. 7, Benzinga will have its first Future of Crypto live conference in New York City at Pier 60. 

Belfort and O’Leary are both keynote speakers at the conference, as is Anthony Scaramucci, and the panels are full of some of the key speakers and projects in the industry, including representatives from Cosmos, Cardano and Solana, all mentioned in this article. 

To learn more about the next-generation of finance, art, gaming, social media, and beyond. join our crypto editorial staff and some of the biggest leaders in the industry for our December summit
Cover photo based on image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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