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SEC Chair: Innovation Around DeFi “Could Be Real”

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Gary Gensler believes that DeFi could offer “real innovation,” but he is convinced that the sector will not survive without regulatory compliance.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Chair Gary Gensler said that new technologies do not tend to persist if they fail to come into compliance with the law during a fireside chat with Jay Clayton at the Digital Asset Compliance & Market Integrity Summit.

While Gensler believes that decentralized finance could be the source of innovation, he claims that it has to fall within the existing regulatory framework:

The innovation around DeFi could be real, but they won’t persist if they stay outside of the regulatory framework.

Gensler also voiced his concerns about the centralization of some DeFi projects and implied that the goal of such projects might be to skirt existing anti-money laundering laws.

Speaking of the regulator’s reluctance to approve a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, Gensler told No. 42 that trading around the globe is not inside the U.S. regulatory register. He urged the trading and lending platform to “come in and talk”:

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Trading and lending platforms are really in an important place for investor and consumer protection. Come in and talk to us… work with us. Where appropriate we’ll use the enforcement tool. Work to get registered with the law.

The SEC boss has reiterated that stablecoins remind him of poker chips at a casino:

[Stablecoins] made it more efficient within the ecosystem. But it also allowed people around the globe, the people who tried to, to avoid money laundering and tax compliance in jurisdiction after jurisdiction.

According to Gensler, stablecoins are responsible for 80% of trading on the crypto market.

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