Gary Gensler, the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) admits to being “intrigued” by cryptocurrencies. However, this will not prevent him from imposing regulations in order to protect crypto investors.
In an interview taken from a Bloomberg article, Gensler gives his thoughts on the cryptocurrency sector. He says he is thinking to take a tough stance on cryptocurrencies in order to safeguard investors who are piling into a highly volatile market.
“While I’m neutral on the technology, even intrigued—I spent three years teaching it, leaning into it—I’m not neutral about investor protection,”
So even though receptive to the innovative technology that crypto brings to the table, Gensler is keen to do his job as the boss of the SEC.
“If somebody wants to speculate, that’s their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud.”
According to Gensler, the SEC has wide-reaching powers to delve into cryptocurrencies and uncover any fraudulent operations. However, he has also asked congress to pass a law that would give the SEC the additional power to monitor crypto exchanges.
He is very open to technology changes, but believes that they always come with thoughtful regulation. He cites the example of the motor industry, and how it didn’t truly take off until needed regulations were in place - those such as driving rules, speed limits, and traffic lights etc.
Hester Pierce, the SEC commissioner known as “crypto mom” for her pro-crypto stance, has said that she is keen to work with Gensler. Her view is that more clarity is needed, but that people should be allowed to transact in whatever they want.
“I come from a perspective that people should have the maximum freedom to engage in transactions they want to engage in voluntarily. Society needs to have that discussion about what is the right regulatory framework.”
Gensler has not, and will not comment on the need for a Bitcoin ETF, even though he has spoken positively on it before becoming the SEC chairman. Pierce, on the other hand, has said that it’s “high time” that the SEC approved a crypto ETF.
For now, Gensler believes that the best way to get a handle on how crypto is traded is to regulate crypto exchanges. However, he is also concerned about peer-to-peer trading by way of decentralised finance platforms, stating that if DeFi platforms are advertising a certain rate of interest for tokens, then the SEC would likely look to regulate this activity.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.