U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler has asked Congress for more funding for his agency to address “risks in the crypto markets.” In a Senate hearing, he stressed: “We’ve seen the Wild West of the crypto markets, rife with noncompliance, where investors have put hard-earned assets at risk in a highly speculative asset class.”
SEC Seeks More Funding to Police Crypto
Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), talked about cryptocurrency during his testimony on Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government regarding the SEC’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget request.
“I am pleased to support the President’s FY 2024 request of $2.436 billion for SEC operations, to put us on a better track for the future,” Gensler told lawmakers.
After outlining “tremendous growth” and changes in the U.S. capital markets, the SEC chairman stated:
We’ve seen the Wild West of the crypto markets, rife with noncompliance, where investors have put hard-earned assets at risk in a highly speculative asset class.
“Such growth and rapid change also mean more possibility for wrongdoing. As the cop on the beat, we must be able to meet the match of bad actors,” he continued. “With funding to meet the scale of our mission, we can be an even stronger advocate for the American public — investors and issuers alike.”
“Our FY 2024 request would help [the Division of Enforcement] grow to 1,144 FTEs [full-time equivalents], allowing it to keep pace with the market challenges of the last decade. The majority of this increase relates to full-year funding for those staff positions authorized and hired in FY 2023,” he explained, elaborating:
These additional resources would strengthen the Division’s ability to protect American families by addressing risks in the crypto markets, cyber and information security, and the resiliency of critical market infrastructure.
Gensler is often criticized for regulating the crypto sector by enforcement. The SEC chairman has stated that all crypto tokens, except bitcoin, are securities. However, the district court for the Southern District of New York recently ruled that XRP is not a security. Gensler stated that the SEC is “disappointed” by the ruling, especially concerning its potential impact on retail investors.
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