Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Gary Gensler expressed concern about the unwillingness of crypto exchanges to cooperate with regulators.
At an online conference, the head of the SEC expressed the hope that in the coming months, cryptocurrency exchanges themselves would take steps to build effective interaction with US regulators.
Compliance with US laws by marketplaces is critical for their own customers, Gensler said. Only through careful oversight of cryptocurrency platforms by regulators will crypto investors be able to receive protection similar to that which private investors receive from regulators when trading stocks, bonds and other traditional assets:
“I have asked the SEC staff to look into all the ways in which these platforms can be included in the scope of investor protection. If trading platforms do not enter the regulated space, it will be another year of threats to the general public.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission, however, like its chairman Gary Gensler, is very wary of cryptocurrencies. According to Cornerstone Research, since 2013, the SEC has filed 97 lawsuits against participants in the cryptocurrency industry, 20 of them occurred in 2021. The total amount of fines amounted to $2.35 billion.
Simona Mola, a senior manager at Cornerstone Research, noted that after Gary Gensler took over as head of the SEC in April 2021, the prosecution of crypto companies has become a key priority for the agency. Gary Gensler recently called for regulation of cryptocurrency advertising to protect investors from scammers.
Even some members of the Commission do not agree with the policy of the current chairman of the SEC. SEC commissioners Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman said last year that they were disappointed by Gary Gensler’s lack of clarification on digital assets on the regulatory agenda. In their opinion, the document should include items relating to the protection of investors and assistance to companies in raising capital.