Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler stuck to his time-tested talking points on a Wednesday interview with yahoo finance even as criticism mounts for doing nothing to prevent the implosion of the FTX crypto exchange.
Gensler, formerly called crypto “The Wild West” and released various execution actions against the sector, once again urged crypto companies operating in the country to “comply” with US securities laws or face the consequences.
“The track is getting shorter,” Gensler told Yahoo Finance.
The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have been vying for control of crypto regulations for many years. A bill proposed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) earlier this year give the CFTC more oversightbut Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is working on a separate bill that would instead give more authority to the SEC, which has been tougher on cryptocurrency. according to traffic light.
Gensler reiterated in the Yahoo Finance interview that his agency would benefit from having more resources and more “offshore reach,” without elaborating on any specific enforcement method.
The SEC chairman declined to speak specifically about FTX and disgraced former CEO Sam Bankman-Friedand did not say whether FTX had violated US securities laws. Still, Gensler acknowledged that US law requires companies to properly segregate funds.
“The New York Stock Exchange also does not have a hedge fund on the side and trades against its clients,” he added.
Gensler has made headlines with a handful of high-profile enforcement actions— what critics have called “regulation by enforcement” — that have done little to prevent the large-scale fraud or misuse of client funds that FTX, or Terra, is accused of $60 billion implosion.
Despite the criticism, Gensler told CNBC last month that “building the evidence, building the facts, often takes time.” And in the Yahoo Finance interview, Gensler said he was happy with some of the agency’s enforcement actions of him, including against BlockFi Y coin base in the last two years.
As contagion related to the FTX crash last month continues to spread, notable business leaders and politicians continue to express concern for the sector.
In an interview on Tuesday Con CNBC, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon compared cryptocurrencies to “pet rocks,” while in Congress, Warren and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) demanded that FTX submit documents, including copies of balance sheets its subsidiaries, according to CNN.
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