SEC Chair Nominee Gary Gensler says Bitcoin & Crypto’s are ‘Catalysts for Change’
But at the same time, they also raise new issues of investor protection, said Gary Gensler during his confirmation hearing.
During the Senate confirmation hearing for Gary Gensler on Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s nominee for chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said ensuring that cryptocurrency markets are free of fraud and manipulation is a challenge.
Gensler has previously served as a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman during the Obama administration. He has been viewed as a strong advocate for crypto assets as Gensler has served as a senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative and even taught about blockchain technology.
During his confirmation hearing, Gensler suggested that more regulatory oversight could be coming crypto’s way while hinting that it will depend on which form of crypto is under discussion.
While the SEC should promote innovation in the cryptocurrency space, if securities are being traded on exchanges, “we want to ensure that there’s appropriate investor protection,” he said.
“It’s important for the SEC to provide guidance and clarity.”
“Sometimes that’s a clarity that will be a thumbs up, but even if it’s thumbs down, it’s important to provide that.”
Back in 2018, at a conference, Gensler said there is a “strong case” that digital assets created and issued by companies are likely to violate securities law.
The agency has said that Bitcoin and Ether are not securities and is suing Ripple, alleging that it broke laws with its unregistered digital asset securities offering.
As the head of the SEC, Gensler would be in charge of cryptocurrencies deemed securities.
“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies brought new thinking to payments but raised new issues of investor protection we still need to attend to,” Gensler told lawmakers, describing them as “catalysts for change.”