Gensler Renews Call for Crypto Firms to Enter Dialogue With SEC

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  • SEC chair Gary Gensler has renewed his call for crypto companies to “come in and talk to us”
  • Coinbase said last week that it had tried this, only to get nothing but aggression
  • Gensler said the SEC is working on an inter-agency framework for crypto projects

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler will today renew his call for crypto companies to “platforms and projects come in and talk to us” despite Coinbase’s claim that they were ignored and then threatened with a lawsuit when they did just that. Gensler filed a prepared statement yesterday ahead of his appearance before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in which the topic of new technology and its impact on the markets will be discussed, with cryptocurrency naturally forming a part of that discussion. The statement doubled down on his request for crypto projects to engage with the SEC instead of launching and fighting the agency on the matter of securities, something that others have found brings little but pain.

Gensler Wants to Bring “Investor Protection”

Gensler’s opening statement says that most crypto firms fall between “regulatory frameworks that protect investors and consumers, guard against illicit activity, and ensure for financial stability” making it harder for them to be adequately regulated. In response, Gensler has added that he has asked SEC staff to work with other regulators to “bring investor protection” to such markets and identify areas where Congress can help fill gaps that aren’t covered by existing regulations.

There is some hope for crypto projects looking to toe the line, with a multi-agency framework apparently being worked on:

With respect to a broader set of policy frameworks, we’re working with not only the CFTC, but also the Federal Reserve, Department of Treasury, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and other members of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets on these matters.

The SEC is Listening…Apparently

Gensler renews his call for projects to “come in and talk to us”, ignoring the claims made by Coinbase last week which made it very clear that the SEC had taken a very hostile approach to their Coinbase Lend program and had failed to engage meaningfully throughout the process, eventually threatening to sue Coinbase if they went ahead with Coinbase Lend. CEO Brian Armstrong even said that the SEC was the only group who refused to meet with him at an event where several other agencies were present.

It is very likely therefore that Armstrong, and others, will have something to say about Gensler’s claims.