US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler called on the government to allocate $2.4 billion to the agency to more effectively prosecute unregistered crypto companies.

Speaking before the House Financial Services Subcommittee, Gary Gensler said that the allocation of these funds for fiscal year 2024 would allow the regulator to hire 170 additional law enforcement officers and support 5,139 full-time employees.

The chairman of the SEC acknowledged that the cryptocurrency industry is developing and is rapidly being introduced into financial markets. However, this leads to an increase in misconduct in the industry, and new tools, experience and resources are required to solve this problem, Gensler said.

He noted that over 35,000 whistle-blower complaints and filings were filed with the regulator last year, resulting in more than 750 SEC enforcement actions and fines totaling $6.4 billion. Of that number, 30 enforcement actions were related to with the cryptocurrency industry, and the total amount of fines for crypto companies amounted to $ 242 million. In 2021, the agency carried out 22 enforcement actions against crypto companies, Gensler added for comparison.

“We are like police officers who must always be ready to fight criminals. It makes sense for the SEC to expand as the capital markets become more complex. The crypto market is a Wild West rife with non-compliance where people put their hard-earned money at risk by investing in high-risk assets,” Gensler said.

Gensler is convinced that digital assets should be controlled by the same rules as the stock market. Recently, the chairman of the SEC stated that all crypto assets using the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm should be regulated as securities.