The chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has said during a speech before Congress on Tuesday the regulator does not intend to ban cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg has reported.
When asked by Rep. Ted Budd whether the SEC, following China's lead, might ban cryptocurrencies to support the launch of a national digital currency, Gensler said:
"No, that would be up to Congress."
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During the hearing, Gensler has answered several questions about cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and the regulation of exchanges and the decentralized finance industry (DeFi). Specifically, Gensler has stated:
"Even in decentralized platforms – so-called DeFi platforms – there is a centralized protocol. And though they don’t take custody in the same way [as centralized exchanges], I think those are the places that we can get the maximum amount of public policy. The $125 billion of stablecoins we have right now are like poker chips at a casino. I do think that if this continues to grow – and it’s grown about tenfold in the last year – it can present those systemic wide risks."
Gensler also stressed most cryptocurrencies fall under the definition of security, however, he declined to answer the question of whether Bitcoin or Ether could be included in this category:
"I won't talk about specific tokens, but I think the securities laws are clear enough."