Gary Gensler hints SEC staff are scrambling to bring crypto exchanges under its regulatory eye this year
Gary Genslersaid SECstaff are looking into every way to bring cryptoplatforms into the regulator's fold. Crypto exchangescould finally get direct US regulatory oversight in 2022, the SEC chair hinted Wednesday.
- "If the trading platforms don't come into the regulated space, it'd be another year of the public being vulnerable," he said.
Crypto exchanges could get some of the US regulatory certainty some want this year, after Gary Gensler hinted his staff are going all-out on making it happen.
Gensler, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Wednesday he hopes trading platforms will come to terms with being directly regulated to protect consumers.
"I've asked staff to look at every way to get these platforms inside the investor protection remit," he said in a virtual press conference, according to remarks reported by Bloomberg.
"If the trading platforms don't come into the regulated space, it'd be another year of the public being vulnerable."
The move is aimed at protecting retail investors in
Digital assets have become more accessible to regular investors because of the growth of easy-to-use exchanges. The crypto market is worth close to $2 trillion as of Thursday, according to Coinmarketcap data.
That soaring popularity has pushed
Under the current US legal framework, crypto exchanges don't have a regulator that directly oversees their activity.
Some experts say clear regulations will play a key role in widening adoption and enabling innovation to continue. Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried recently said crypto adoption at the institutional level could accelerate depending on the level of regulatory clarity.
Last year, Gensler, an expert on blockchain technology, pushed for lawmakers to broaden the scope of regulators to better police crypto
The regulator has previously said he is neutral or even intrigued by cryptocurrency technology, but isn't neutral about investor protection.
"We have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud," he said just months after taking up office.
The SEC has issued a total of about $2.35 billion in penalties against participants in the crypto marketplace since 2013, according to a new report by Cornerstone Research. In 2021 alone, 20 enforcement actions were made against digital asset market participants.
Read More: BlackRock's $281 billion fundamental equity chief lays out how you can profit from the cash pouring into the metaverse via the stock market - and explains why inflation is good news for smart stock pickers
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