SEC Chair calls for greater regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges

Gary Gensler calls for greater “investor protection on the crypto exchanges”

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Speaking to US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) annual conference, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) emphasised his organisation’s preparedness and willingness to clamp down on illegal activity in the cryptoasset space.

Gary Gensler, who took the helm at the regulator earlier this year, reaffirmed argued that “the SEC and FINRA should be ready to bring cases involving issues such as crypto, cyber, and fintech”.

He added: “We need to do whatever we can to ensure that bad actors aren’t playing with working families’ savings and that the rules are enforced aggressively and consistently.”

Generally thought to have a more accommodating attitude to cryptoassets than most regulators, Gensler’s tenure thus far has emphasised the importance of investor protection and the possible need to sure up the regulation of exchanges.

He told the FINRA conference: “This is a quite volatile, one might say highly volatile, asset class, and the investing public would benefit from more investor protection on the crypto exchanges.”

Such comments follow on from those made earlier this month at his first public hearing since assuming the role. The 63-year old stated:

“Right now, these exchanges do not have a regulatory framework at the SEC or at our sister agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Right now, there’s not a market regulator around these crypto exchanges and thus there’s really no protection around fraud or manipulation.”

US Treasury calls for greater regulation of crypto payments to businesses

Gensler’s latest comments were made on the same day that the US Department of the Treasury published a report, recommending that businesses that receive crypto transfers worth more than $10,000 should be made to report them to the Inland Revenue Service (IRS).

The report observed: “Despite constituting a relatively small portion of business income today, cryptocurrency transactions are likely to rise in importance in the next decade, especially in the presence of a broad-based financial account reporting regime.”

By midday, Bitcoin, traded up 1.8% at $40,894. The world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency has endured an eventful week, during which suffered its largest decline in more than a year before rising 26% in the space of 24 hours.

Further reading: Bitcoin rises 24% from Wednesday low

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