Gary Gensler has highlighted the goals of digital currency enforcement as the SEC seeks to increase the budget.
And US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler continues to demand more oversight of crypto companies.
Testifying before Congress, Gensler cited the need for greater investor protection as a justification for the SEC’s higher budget for fiscal year 2023.
Gensler told the House Appropriation Committee that the crypto industry is posing new challenges to the Securities and Exchange Commission as it expands rapidly.
The industry has grown more than tenfold in less than five years, he said, as well as the risks it poses to consumer protection, as his written notes reiterated, noting that market volatility has emphasized the need for more consumer protection in recent weeks alone.
The increase in the SEC’s budget will help strengthen its digital currency enforcement team to keep pace with the growth of the industry.
The additional staff will provide the department with greater ability to investigate misconduct and speed up enforcement as it will enhance our litigation support, enhance the capabilities of the crypto-asset and cyber unit, and investigate the tens of thousands of tips, complaints and referrals we receive from the public.
Gensler also emphasized that he considers a lot of cryptocurrency to be securities that are under the supervision of the regulator. He has expressed the same sentiment over and over again, urging cryptocurrency exchanges to come in and “register” with the SEC.
Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission created its crypto-asset and cyber unit by renaming its cyber unit and increasing the number of employees in the unit from 20 to 50 people.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has reported successful enforcement actions against crypto companies this year, reaching a $100 million settlement with digital currency lender BlockFi for failing to register their offerings.
The settlement also provided terms under which BlockFi will continue its services that potentially apply to similar cryptocurrency lenders, but not all have been successful as the commission’s case with Ripple continues to slow.
The industry has also decried the SEC’s approach to the industry in general. Digital currency proponents, including Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Hester Pierce, have described this approach as regulation through enforcement.
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According to a recent Reuters report, Pierce paraphrased this point while warning the industry that the committee may soon introduce regulations that will harm the stablecoin market.