SEC's Gensler: I am Not Neutral About Investor Protection
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Aug. 3, 2021

The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission is not going to be inclined towards the cryptocurrency market despite the fact he is intrigued on technology behind these assets. In an interview with Bloomberg, Gary Gensler said he wants to contemplate a robust oversight regime, centered on establishing safeguards for cryptocurrency investors.

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"If somebody wants to speculate, that is their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud," he said.

However, Gensler refused to give a timeline for any SEC action. He also said the regulator is currently looking at different crypto issues, including initial coin offerings, lending platforms and decentralized finance (DeFi).

"I have asked the staff to use all of our authorities anywhere we can," Gensler added.

The SEC Chair believes that regulating cryptocurrency exchanges is the easiest way to get a quick handle on crypto trading. Nonetheless, he is concerned that people will find new ways of getting into crypto, including peer-to-peer (p2p) lending on DeFi platforms. He warned these loans could be under SEC oversight if firms are advertising a specific interest-rate return on a crypto asset.

Gensler's comments come after the SEC extended the deadline for considering the application of the investment company SkyBridge Capital for the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on bitcoin (EXANTE: Bitcoin) until August 25.

SEC's Gensler Calls for Federal Regime for Crypto Exchanges

As noted by the SEC, the regulator intends to seek more feedback to consider the application. SkyBridge Capital applied to the Bitcoin ETF Commission on May 6. The watchdog is now considering applications from companies such as ARK Invest, One River, and Fidelity.

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