McHenry to U.S. SEC: Which Crypto Firms Have Tried to Register?

Rep. Patrick McHenry, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, accused the SEC of stonewalling questions on digital assets, so he threatened another hearing.

AccessTimeIconMay 11, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 9:50 p.m. UTC
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has so far disregarded congressional requests for information on its interactions with crypto platforms seeking registration as exchanges, according to Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives, who threatened a hearing if they’re ignored any longer.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee that oversees the SEC, sent a letter this week to SEC Chair Gary Gensler complaining that an earlier April 26 request had been rebuffed. The letters, also signed by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), coincided with recent hearings – including one on May 10 – in which Republican lawmakers criticized the agency for trying to hold the crypto industry to existing securities regulations.

“While you have stated that digital asset intermediaries such as exchanges should ‘come in and register,’ you have refused to establish rules with which digital asset trading platforms and other intermediaries can comply,” the lawmakers wrote in the April letter, which asked for a list of companies that have met with SEC officials to discuss registration.

McHenry’s committee will likely be instrumental in any legislation that may emerge this year on the U.S. oversight of digital assets, and a draft resolution the committee published this week suggests that the SEC has been doing an inadequate job and needs to await direction from Congress.

“Chair Gensler will respond to members of Congress directly, rather than through the media,” an agency spokesperson said.

The May 9 follow-up letter from McHenry and Huizenga noted that SEC staff complained of "how overly burdensome the committee's requests have been." The lawmakers narrowed this request and others, offering a new deadline of May 19. If it isn't met, the committee will seek to schedule testimony from SEC officials to discuss "the SEC's failure to comply with congressional requests."

Edited by Nikhilesh De.

UPDATE (May 11, 2023, 21:49 UTC): Updates with comment from the SEC.

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Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.


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