SEC’s Gary Gensler Warns Lawmakers Not To Undermine Broader Markets With Crypto Rules

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler expressed concern on June 14 that congressional efforts to draft legislation for the cryptocurrency industry could undermine regulations that govern cryptocurrency markets. capital in the broad sense.

Asked about a bill introduced last week by Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand, Gensler was initially hesitant, saying he would prefer to discuss the bill with senators. But he then suggested that legislative changes targeting cryptocurrencies could have implications for exchanges or mutual funds.

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“We don’t want to undermine the protections that we have in a $100 billion capital market,” Gensler told The Wall Street Journal CFO Network Summit. “Similar behaviors should have similar treatment.”

Asked if the recent rout in cryptocurrency prices had added new urgency to the SEC’s market concerns, Gensler said, “The urgency is highlighted, but the urgency was there. ”

The Lummis-Gillibrand bill, which is unlikely to pass the current Congress, aims to create a “comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets,” its sponsors claim. One of its provisions would seek to clarify which cryptocurrencies meet the legal definition of securities the SEC should regulate, a rallying point for the industry.

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But the bill would exclude certain cryptocurrencies from the SEC’s jurisdiction. It would also create new concepts in nearly 90-year-old securities laws that would allow issuers of certain digital tokens to meet lighter disclosure requirements than those faced by public companies.

“We’re not looking to expand our jurisdiction,” Gensler said. “But these tokens are offered to the public, and the public is hoping for a better future. These are the characteristics of an investment contract, a type of security.

Gensler’s remarks contrast with those of his counterpart at the SEC’s sister regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which would gain significant authority under the Lummis-Gillibrand bill.

At an event last week, CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam said the bill “does a really good job” of clarifying the distinction between securities and non-securities in the crypto market. and empowering the CFTC to control this latter category of assets.

Write to Paul Kiernan at paul.kiernan@wsj.com

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires, another service of the Dow Jones group

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SEC’s Gary Gensler Warns Lawmakers Not To Undermine Broader Markets With Crypto Rules


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