SEC Needs Clear Authority Over Crypto Platforms, Gensler Says

The SEC chair spoke of the agency's desire to "stitch together" consumer protection for tokens sold as securities and tokens sold as commodities.

Aug 4, 2021 at 1:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:35 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs clear authority over platforms that trade or lend crypto, Chair Gary Gensler said.

  • Talking to CNBC's Squawk Box Wednesday, the SEC chief spoke of the agency's desire to "stitch together" consumer protection on platforms that offer lending or trading of both tokens sold as securities, and tokens sold as commodities.
  • Gensler said many crypto trading and lending platforms are "standing astride regulation," given this nuance.
  • "If they're trading securities, I'm encouraging them to come in and have a frank discussion," Gensler said, suggesting that many platforms are reticent to do so.
  • Asked about how the desire for robust regulation would naturally clash with bitcoin's original ethos of outsider money, Gensler praised the "off the grid, libertarian" values of crypto, but stressed the importance of preventing fraud, terrorism and other crime, citing the recent attack on Colonial Pipeline as an example.
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