The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s chairman Gary Gensler has been more than clear about his views on cryptocurrencies. In the latest National Security Conference hosted by the Aspen Institute, Gary Gensler took to stage and proclaimed that the current crypto environment is “rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications”.
Gensler had previously taught a cryptocurrency course at MIT. Hence, many were disappointed with the chairman’s speech since many believed he was favorable towards the technology.
During the speech, Gensler revealed cryptocurrencies are not monitored and all the relevant details have not been disclosed. He stated that this absence of information is not enough for investor protection. He said:
“Right now, we just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto. Frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West. If we don’t address these issues, I worry a lot of people will be hurt.”
In an in-depth interview with Bloomberg, the current chairman revealed that the SEC had been looking at seven areas of the financial market, particularly DeFi and Stablecoins. The other issues include Initial Coin Offerings, trading venues, ETFs, custody, and lending platforms.
Gensler has revealed that he believed cryptocurrencies could boost progress in the economy. However, they should align with the public policy goals and with investors’ interests.
Talking about cryptocurrencies as securities, Gensler said that parliamentary approval is required to increase the SEC’s oversight on crypto assets. He argued that crypto trading, lending, and DeFi platforms should be centralized and it would be preferable for the SEC to establish rules and take protective measures in this field
Possibility of Bitcoin ETF
During the speech, Gensler mentioned the Bitcoin ETFs and said:
“I anticipate that there will be filings with regard to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) under the Investment Company Act (’40 Act). When combined with the other federal securities laws, the ’40 Act provides significant investor protections. Given these important protections, I look forward to the staff’s review of such filings, particularly if those are limited to these CME-traded bitcoin futures.”