SEC Chief, Gary Gensler, Wants More Power for SEC to Regulate Crypto

The chief regulator stressed the need for protection and security for users, assets, and the country.

SEC Draws Attention At Security Conference 

The SEC is coming for you and your crypto. Not be an alarmist, but this may be a good thing. The SEC Director, Gary Gensler, joined the two-day virtual Aspen Security Forum on August 3rd. 

The conference drew the attention of many interested in global geopolitics, but Gensler’s speech and comments drew even more scrutiny as regulators continue to signal a harsh crackdown on crypto. 

Gensler’s comments opened the door for more clarity for some crypto topics. Notably, he signaled towards a pathway for a Bitcoin ETF using prices and data from CME Group. The remarks from Gensler also seemed to clarify the perspective of stablecoins ––which has broad implications to crypto––referring to them as securities. 

“Make no mistake: It doesn’t matter whether it’s a stock token, a stable value token backed by securities, or any other virtual product that provides synthetic exposure to underlying securities. These products are subject to the securities laws and must work within our securities regime,” he said, solidifying his perspective. 

Gensler’s tone followed the regulatory rhythm expected from an SEC chief, ultimately asking Congress for more power to do so.


A Significant Figure

Although Gensler spoke candidly and under his own opinions, the words coming from the head of the SEC are not taken lightly. Gensler offered a critical glimpse into the thoughts of regulators. As of late, educated opinions on cryptocurrency have been absent from the recent Congressional infrastructure bill and government more broadly. 

The news on stablecoins should provide much-needed clarity and hopefully can lead to policy that reflects the opinions of Gensler. The stance of referring to stablecoins and other cryptos as securities would force the transactions of these coins and tokens to be reported. Gensler did, however, say that he thinks it is possible to see a stablecoin created that does not fit the definition of security.

As chief regulator, Gensler rightfully saw it his duty to assert more power over what he called the “wild west” atmosphere currently beset across web 3.0. Users should expect Gensler and his team to be coming fast. He stressed the need for protection––echoing the theme of the conference and a Congressional hearing from last week. 

“Right now, large parts of the field of crypto are sitting astride — not operating within — regulatory frameworks that protect investors and consumers, guard against illicit activity, ensure financial stability, and yes, protect national security,” he detailed.

Gensler’s complete public statement can be read here.

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