Mircea Popescu: "The SEC Won’t Let Me Be." Or, "I’ve Been Expecting You."

So the SEC won’t let me be
Or let me be mei, so let me see
They try to shut me down on TCP
But it feels so empty, without me
So, come on and dip, bum on your lips
Fuck that, cum on your lips, and some on your tits
And get ready, ’cause this shit’s about to get heavy
I just settled all my lawsuits, fuck your authorityii

The SECiii is a division of the USGiv that was created in 1934 by Section 4 of the Securities Exchange Act. The SEC is responsible for policing securities and options trading in the US. They’re also the people who locked up Martha Stewart.v Recently, they knocked on the sovereign door of Mircea Popescu‘s MPEx exchange, which he was polite enough to answer.

But boy was the SEC in for a wake-up call.vi Here are some of the highlights of the back-and-forth, which MP posted on Trilema earlier today:

When asked to speak on the phone, MP replied with some familiar advice:

The best we can come to if you absolutely need real-time communication would be #bitcoin-assets on Freenode.

That was just a request for a talk-offvii, so imagine the response when the SEC asked to provide shareholder documents. MP:

Should you understand you have no authority in the matter but nevertheless wish to pursue some sort of amicable understanding, you will first have to appreciate the difference between legal and illegal requests. In this sense, asking someone to pick up your daughter from school is a legal request (as far as I know in the rapidly deteriorating legal environment in the US, at any rate). Asking them to pick up your daughter and throw her over a cliff however is an illegal request.

Very ouch. Finally, after being provided with a woefully inadequate letter requesting the same shareholder documents, MP responded with still more familiarviii advice:

As a key step, the commissioners of the SEC are to at their earliest conveniene adopt a resolution, to be jointly drafted at teh expert level, which is to include a) a plain statement of the SEC’s lack of jurisdiction with regards to Bitcoin, thus aligning itself with the US FED and US GAO ; b) a statement recognising MPEX’ regulatory authority over Bitcoin finance as a SRO  ; c) an appointment of any one of the commissioners as authorised Bitcoin liason, which would include the creation of a dedicated PGP key and Web of Trust membership, which would be recognised as such by MPEx, and on the basis of which all further communication is to be conducted.

Note the inimitable authority, the years of preparation, and the replacement of zeds with esses.

Once upon a time, Daniel walked into the lion’s den…

___ ___ ___

  1. MP’s Twitter bio, “I’m being me, and doing a slightly better job than anyone else”, reminds us that MP’s gonna MP and there’s not a lot anyone can do about it. The SEC, of course, is about to find this out first hand. []
  2. With all due respect and credit to rapper Enimem for providing the lyrical framework from his 2002 song, Without Me. “FCC” was replaced with “SEC”, “MTV” was replaced with “TCP”, and “you Debbie” was replace with “your authority. []
  3. US Federal Securities and Exchange Commission []
  4. United States Government []
  5. Those bastids! []
  6. And not the nice hotel kind that you order the night before. []
  7. “Talk you off what, Pop-Pop?” -George Michael, Arrested Development. []
  8. And so it began for yours truly on February 26, 2014: 06:26:17 <mircea_popescu>: ;;later tell bitcoinpete you should get into the wot and remind me to put you in the bloglist sometime. It’s all about the WoT, baby. Also, SROs (Self-Regulatory Organizations) are entities that are “organized for the purpose of regulating the operations and the standards of practice and business conduct of its members and their representatives with a view to promoting the protection of investors and the public interest”. (via OSC []

5 thoughts on “Mircea Popescu: "The SEC Won’t Let Me Be." Or, "I’ve Been Expecting You."

  1. […] as release comes of as rather straightforward and cordial. Fellow writers on Bitcoin related things bitcoinpete and benkay have done write ups on specific things […]

  2. […] new projects.viii He’s always there to have a conversation, whether you’re a reporter, the SEC, or a wannabe […]

  3. […] a solution could only, and I do mean only, come from the man who so thoroughly told the SEC where to go that they… listened. […]

  4. […] if they’ll respond like mircea_popescu did when the SEC comes knocking… BingoBoingo: Pierre_Rochard: Even though by simply the way things are they seems to like BFL be […]

  5. […] Sure, MPEx still has fees,iv but it doesn’t have and what it isn’t susceptible is even more important, namely 1) billion-dollar high-frequency trading bots, 2) goddam lasers shooting freaking laser beams from rooftop to rooftop for speedier trades, and, perhaps most importantly of all, 3) useless fucking Soviet-style nation states impotently diddling the market’s twat.v Quite the opposite, in fact. […]

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