SEC Chief Sharpens Rhetoric Towards Cryptocurrencies & Builds Momentum For Regulation

Chairman stands behind the rhetoric of protection to build momentum for enforcement.

SEC To Play Role of Protector

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, Gary Gensler, has entrenched himself and his agency further against cryptocurrency with his comments this week

There has been a keen lack of clarity from the agency as of late, but Gensler’s latest approach signals a historical scope that will pit state versus private actors for control over currency. The Chairman joined columnist David Ignatius for Washington Post Live on Tuesday morning, to discuss his opinions about global economics, stablecoins, regulations, and what he, once again, called the ‘wild west’ of cryptocurrencies. 

“We have to ensure for investor and consumer protection, that’s what an agency like ours, the SEC, does, but also ensure other public policy goals, that people are compliant with taxes and compliant with what’s called anti-money laundering and the like, and we don’t undermine the stability of the system,” Gensler said. “So, I think it’s better to bring it inside the public policy framework and ensure that we address these important public policy goals.”

In this sense, Gensler views his own job as a protector of the people––and the state––from the perils of crypto . However, he overlooks that people are drawn to crypto because of the perils of the state and the volatilities of global geopolitics. The Chairman continues to build rhetoric of volatility around the industry as a way to build fodder for his position. A key duty of the SEC is to protect securities and assets, and Gensler holds the line that cryptos are volatile and need control from a public policy perspective.


Gensler likened stablecoins to casinos and the whole industry to an untamed ‘wild west.’ He invoked further analogy to failures of private money in the 19th century to back up his idea that crypto is short-lived and highly speculative. 

The United States is one of just a few of the largest economies in the world that lack proper regulatory clarity around the industry. It is becoming more an issue that Gensler is inactive about policy. He seems to believe he has the authority and ability. 

“I think we have robust authority in the Securities and Exchange Commission. We’re going to use them and continue,” Gensler told Ignatius. “We’ll also be the cop on the beat and bringing those enforcement actions, as well.”

For the full transcript of the interview see here.

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