Crypto Awaits Impact as Supreme Court Revisits Chevron Doctrine

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  • The Chevron doctrine, granting government agencies broad regulatory power, has been challenged.
  • The crypto industry is closely watching, as the world hopes for less regulatory intervention if doctrine weakens
  • The original case came about in 1984, when fishermen took the NMFS to court for forcing them to pay a daily fee of USD $700.

When you hear the words “crypto” and “supreme court”, you might expect to find a bloody battlefield involving Shady Business Founders (not naming any names). What you probably didn’t anticipate, was finding a case revolving around a herring fisherman. Enter the Chevron doctrine.

What is the Chevron Case and Why is it Important?

The Chevron case kicked off in 1984 when a group of herring fishermen took the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to court. The anglers took objection to an NMFS policy that forced them to pay a fee of USD $700 (AUD $1,063) per day to carry federal monitors on their boats. The court originally ruled in favour of the federal agencies, meaning that these bodies are allowed to somewhat imperviously create their own regulations without the interference of courts or legislators. 

But the forty-year-old case is back in the headlines again, as attorneys for the fisherman intend to make the courts overrule their initial decision, which would cause shockwaves across all areas of the US Government. The crypto world – one that exists in a weird grey area of non-enforcement and over-enforcement by a certain US regulatory body – is particularly involved. In fact, attorneys representing the fisherman even referenced Gary Gensler directly when making their oral arguments:

If the attack on the Chevron doctrine is successful, it would be a massive win for the crypto industry, which has historically done well in the court system but has been battered by regulatory bodies like the SEC. Greater freedom to operate within flexible, modernised laws would help breed innovation, improve security and remove some of the stigma around blockchain technology that antiquated regulations currently perpetuate.


The broader implications of the case may not be as positive, with lobbyists from environmental and medical industries claiming an overruling would harm progress.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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