SEC Chair Gensler: We Do Things According to Our Authorities and How Courts Interpret Them

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler has affirmed that the securities regulator acts according to its authorities and how the courts interpret them. This includes how the agency plans to deal with spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications, he noted. Gensler also confirmed that SEC staff has been meeting with various spot bitcoin ETF issuers regarding their filings.

SEC Chair: We Do Things According to Our Authorities

The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, answered a few questions regarding cryptocurrency and spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday. The brief interview happened after the SEC voted to expand central clearing to overhaul the $26 trillion Treasury market.

Gensler acknowledged that SEC staff has engaged with various issuers of spot bitcoin ETFs regarding their applications. When asked if this increased level of engagement indicates that approval for spot bitcoin ETFs is approaching, he responded: “We have somewhere between eight and a dozen filings in front of this agency with regard to exchange-traded products surrounding bitcoin, and staff of various divisions respond when market participants have filings,” the SEC chairman clarified.

“We also had a court case earlier this fall in this regard,” Gensler added, emphasizing:

So, we do things according to our authorities and how courts interpret our authorities, and that’s what we’ll do here as well.

The legal matter Gensler mentioned pertains to the SEC v. Grayscale Investments case. The crypto asset manager seeks to convert its bitcoin trust (GBTC) into a spot bitcoin ETF. The SEC initially rejected the application and Grayscale took the matter to court. The court ruled in favor of the crypto asset manager, instructing the SEC to reconsider the application.

During the interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Gensler emphasized the significance of the Treasury market, placing it as a top priority on his regulatory agenda. Noting the massive scale of the $26 trillion Treasury market, he stressed that it is the cornerstone of the entire U.S. capital system. Gensler argued that its crucial role in government funding, Federal Reserve policy, and global dollar dominance necessitates prioritized attention, emphasizing that the Treasury market is “Very consequential” and “very important.”

In contrast, the SEC chief explained: “Crypto securities are not only much smaller but it is not how we fund our government, it’s not how we conduct monetary policy, and for many investors, they’ve been harmed in that market, and they are being harmed because there’s too much noncompliance.” Gensler emphasized the multi-pronged nature of crypto’s non-compliance, citing violations of not only securities laws but also regulations from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Treasury Department, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

What do you think about the statements by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler about the regulator doing things according to its authorities and according to how the courts interpret them? Let us know in the comments section below.

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