American News Apr 8, 2021 12:13 AM EST

Odysee CEO Jeremy Kauffman's battle with the SEC: what you need to know

If anything, Kauffman says, the legal fight is helping raise the public visibility of alt-tech platforms.

Odysee CEO Jeremy Kauffman's  battle with the SEC: what you need to know
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In an interview with prominent alt-tech creator "Niko & MCSC Network," Odysee/LBRY CEO Jeremy Kauffman elaborated on his ongoing SEC battle.

Before we begin it’s important to clarify: LBRY is the file-sharing/payment blockchain network system that makes LBRY.tv and Odysee work as a decentralized platform to upload videos. People are awarded LBRY tokens for watching Odysee content.

What’s the fight about? According to their FAQ:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint against LBRY Inc alleging that all distributions of LBRY Credits by LBRY Inc are unregistered securities offerings. This claim is a tremendous threat to the entire cryptocurrency industry.”

The central factor of being open-sourced and decentralized is what defines Odysee/LBRY as a platform in the eyes of its CEO Jeremy Kauffman. However he also laments the transparency of his operations as one of the reasons the US federal government has made his business an easy target.

Jeremy makes it clear that this case has been open for three years. He defines the relationship as them accusing Kauffman of doing things wrong, but simultaneously won’t say how the right way to do things is supposed to be. At one point he says he’s fairly confident that the SEC moved in on this case after this past January’s crackdown by Big Tech woke a massive amount of people up to their censorship. A moment that was described ominously by The New York Times.

The interviewer said he spoke with someone familiar with tax laws and asserted federal regulators haven’t made an official tax code yet because that’d further legitimize cryptocurrency, and as of now the government isn’t in full control of that ecosystem.

Jeremy Kauffman came off confident with his side’s chances in this legal fight. If anything the battle is an awareness campaign for their site in the long-run. He told Niko that VC funds are ready to go to deal with this sort of thing. In addition, when it comes to the minutia, Kauffman stressed that Odysee’s systems are designed in such a way that if he were to do a “180” and become “evil” there’d be no way for him as CEO to exploit his creation. Instead he reframes the current situation as the SEC wanting their company to write a “big fat check” and make it harder for LBRY tokens to be exchanged. But the potential ramifications go a step further, as this could set precedent for cryptocurrency’s regulatory future overall.  

As helplbrysavecrypto.com puts it: the classification of "all actively-developed blockchain tokens as securities."

Both Niko and Kauffman rounded off the interview showing their situational awareness about Big Tech’s authoritarian policing of content. By that, meaning that the general public has reached a limit to how much they’re willing to put up with when it comes to social media censorship. They described journalist Ford Fischer’s coverage of the January 6th Capitol riot as the quintessential example of unnecessary removals by YouTube. Despite the fact Fischer’s content was used in The New York Times own mainstream coverage

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