SEC chair wants robust crypto regulatory regime for the US

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America’s securities chief has crypto regulatory ambitions beyond ETFs and token offerings and includes markets like lending and DeFi.

Gary Gensler, chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, is reportedly keen on bright-line regulations for the country’s crypto space.

Gensler expressed the SEC’s desire to install safeguards for crypto investors in the U.S. in a Bloomberg interview, stating, “If somebody wants to speculate, that’s their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud.”

The SEC chairman identified seven crypto-related policy changes currently being examined by the Commission. These include matters concerning token offerings, decentralized finance (DeFi) and stablecoins. Other focus points for Gensler’s SEC are custody, exchange-traded funds (ETF) and lending platforms.

According to Gensler, crypto exchange regulations might be the most straightforward way to achieve SEC oversight of the crypto trading arena. However, such legal policies may also include decentralized exchanges as well as other DeFi players.

Gensler also identified the crypto lending market as coming under the SEC’s radar. Indeed, as previously reported by Cointelegraph, the flurry of state regulatory actions against crypto lending giant BlockFi might be a bellwether for future SEC action in the market segment.

For Gensler, the interest-rate advertising aspect of these companies and the pooling of digital assets to offer returns serve as entry points for the SEC to impose regulations akin to those enforced on mutual funds.

Related: Sen. Warren queries SEC Chair on lack of crypto investor protection

While Gensler is indeed keen on introducing regulatory clarity to the U.S. crypto market, these measures are reportedly not on the agenda for the SEC at the moment.

With close to 50 non-crypto-related policy matters on the Commission’s plate, crypto regulations might be on the backburner for now. Indeed, with environmental, social and corporate governance and meme stocks issues, some market commentators say a Bitcoin ETF in 2021 is unlikely.

Meanwhile, members of Congress, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, continue to push for stricter cryptocurrency policing.

Ronnie Huss

Ronnie Huss

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