US Democrat Senator John Hickenlooper Criticizes Gary Gensler's Approach to Crypto at SEC

Hickenlooper noted in a letter the current lack of a coordinated regulatory framework leads "uneven enforcement."

AccessTimeIconOct 13, 2022 at 2:11 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 13, 2022 at 2:55 p.m. UTC

U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) has become one of the first Democratic senators to publicly criticize the slow approach to crypto taken by Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Hickenlooper said the current lack of a coordinated regulatory framework leads "uneven enforcement" and hinders clear understanding of investor protection in a letter to Gensler first published by Punchbowl News

"At the same time, as you have repeatedly noted, existing securities regulation does not cleanly apply," he said. "Applying the old rules to the new market could inadvertently cause financial services to be more expensive, less accessible, and the SEC’s disclosure regime to be less useful to the American people."

Hickenlooper called for the SEC to take action in clarifying which digital assets are securities, how they should be issued and listed as such, determine what disclosures are necessary to inform investors, establish a registration regime for trading platforms and set rules for how trading and custody should be carried out.

Gensler and the SEC's approach to crypto has drawn criticism from political classes previously but generally from the other side of the aisle. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), for example, attacked the regulator for the lack of regulatory action which could have prevented the worst effects of the collapse of several crypto companies, such as Celsius Network.


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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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