SEC Chair Gary Gensler says many cryptocurrencies are security tokens.
During an oversight hearing held by the House Committee on Appropriations, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, told Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley that there are many cryptocurrencies that fall under the federal securities laws:
You are right to say that there are many crypto tokens that do come under the securities laws, and our agency is trying to enforce the law. But there’s thousands of tokens, and we’ve only been able to bring 75 actions. And there are others currently that are non-compliant.
In his prepared testimony, Gensler wrote that asset managers that invest in unregistered securities could come under scrutiny as well:
The SEC has been consistent in its communication to market participants that those who use initial coin offerings to raise capital or to engage in securities transactions must comply with the federal securities laws. Asset managers that invest in these assets may come under securities laws, too.
He mentioned that there’s “some interest” in funds that are involved in the cryptocurrency space.
Gensler also reiterated his intention to work with Congress in order to regulate exchanges in the testimony:
In recent weeks, the reported trading volume has ranged from $130 billion to $330 billion per day. These figures, however, are not audited or reported to regulatory authorities, as the tokens are traded on unregistered crypto exchanges. That is just one of many regulatory gaps in these crypto asset markets.