Gary Gensler Maintains Regulatory Stance on Crypto at Investor Advisory Committee Meeting

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US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler expressed concerns for more investor protection in the cryptocurrency markets at an Investor Advisory Committee meeting last week.

The Investor Advisory Committee advises the SEC on regulatory necessities, including “initiatives to protect investor interests and to promote investor confidence and the integrity of the securities marketplace.”

The SEC Chair began his speech by acknowledging that “Satoshi Nakamoto’s ‘Bitcoin Whitepaper’ and the crypto markets that followed have been catalysts for change.” Sometime in August, Gensler praised Satoshi’s innovation, noting that it is legitimate and “it has been and could continue to be a catalyst for change in the fields of finance and money.”

Commenting on the total market capitalization of the crypto industry, the SEC executive told the Committee that: “This is an asset class that belongs inside public policy frameworks of looking after investors, guarding against illicit [activities], and protecting our financial stability.” Gensler added that:

“Unfortunately, this asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications … In many cases, investors aren’t able to get rigorous, balanced, and complete information on tokens or trading and lending platforms.”

The SEC Chair detailed that: “Right now, we just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto,” adding that “the American public is buying, selling, and lending crypto on trading, lending, and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, where there are significant gaps in investor protection.” Gensler argued that:

“This leaves markets open to manipulation. This leaves investors vulnerable. If we don’t address these issues, I worry a lot of people will be hurt.”

Gary Gensler on Tokens Being Securities

Responding to whether a token is classified as a security, he clarified that: “There’s actually a lot of clarity on that front. In the 1930s, Congress established the definition of a security, which included about 20 items, like stock, bonds, and notes.”

Gensler added that: “One of the items is an investment contract,” arguing that many tokens on the crypto market “may be unregistered securities, without required disclosures or market oversight.”

The SEC Chairman concluded his speech by noting that cryptocurrency companies and token issuers or custodians should “come in and talk to the staff at the SEC.”

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.