Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler wants to step up investor protections when it comes to cryptocurrencies and is urging those involved in issuing crypto tokens or running crypto platforms to meet with the regulator.
In prepared remarks before the SEC Investor Advisory Committee at a meeting this week, Gensler said crypto is an “asset class” whose aggregate market capitalization now stands at $2.6 trillion, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.
At the same time, “unfortunately, this asset class is rife with fraud, scams and abuse in certain applications,” he said.
“There’s a great deal of hype and spin about crypto assets and crypto projects. In many cases, investors aren’t able to get rigorous, balanced and complete information on tokens or trading and lending platforms,” Gensler said.
As a result, there’s not enough investor protection when it comes to crypto, leaving markets open to manipulation, he said.
Gensler also stressed, as he has in the past, that crypto falls under the jurisdiction of the SEC, and that any “financial innovation” eventually falls under the regulator’s public policy framework.
The commissioner also asked “anybody who may be operating crypto platforms or issuing crypto tokens” to step forward and talk to the SEC.
“To the extent there are challenges about how to register or come into compliance, we’d like to hear what those are, Gensler said. “The staff is standing by, ready to better understand if any bespoke adjustments may be appropriate.”
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