Gensler Asked by US Congressman to Clarify SEC Jurisdiction Over Crypto

While United States regulatory agencies are claiming jurisdiction over crypto, US Congressman Patric McHenry has demanded clarification from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Congressman Patric McHenry who is representing the 10th Congressional District of North Carolina has addressed Chairman Gensler of the SEC through a letter in which he wrote that Gensler’s contradictions in his statements about cryptocurrencies need to be addressed, along with the regulation of the crypto industry as a whole. 

Congressman McHenry has emphasized a multitude of cases in which Gensler has been conflicted about his decisions on regulating cryptocurrencies. 

In May, Gensler told the Financial Services Committee during his testimony that there are gaps in the regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges that could only be addressed by Congress itself. Gensler stressed that more control on such exchanges would help digital asset investors.

Only days later, in an interview with CNBC, Gensler argued that aside from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that can provide oversight on issues such as anti-manipulation or anti-fraud, no other government agencies or authorities are properly equipped to supervise crypto trading and exchange in the United States of America.

Earlier this year, during August, Gensler made another remark stating that since most of the tokens could be considered as securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is well equipped to assume oversight duties over the crypto industry.

Gensler testified recently before the Senate Banking Committee hearing that there are inconsistencies in the definition of security due to a lack of collaboration amongst regulatory agencies.

Gensler also went on to say that notes and investment contracts are other instances of crypto assets that could be considered as securities. He added that the changing pronouncements on the SEC’s power have produced tremendous ambiguity for market participants and stakeholders in Congress, especially given the ongoing discussion about likely regulatory cracks within the digital asset ecosystem.

Related: The SEC Won’t Ban Bitcoin Says Gary Gensler

Congressman McHenry also pointed out the inaccuracy of Gensler’s analogy among stablecoins and poker chips. This remark was made by Gensler in September of this year, where he additionally stated that stablecoins could either be categorized as banking products or investment contracts depending on their features. 

The following are the questions of Congressman McHenry to once and for all clear out the confusion around crypto regulation: 

  1. Is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) well equipped to regulate the crypto industry?
  2. Will the SEC prosecute crypto exchanges that sell tokens that would later be categorized as securities by the SEC?
  3. Will the SEC be able to convey timely updates on the decision to recognize certain tokens as securities?
  4. Did the SEC already make up its mind about some tokens that it considers securities and how did it get to such a conclusion?
  5. What kind of additional support does the SEC require from the United States Congress to fill in the gaps between insufficient inter-agency cooperation in regulating crypto?

Congressman McHenry has been actively seeking answers on crypto regulation.

Also read: BitGo Confirms BTC Incorporation in Balance Sheet to be The FAQ of Corporations