SEC chair Gary Gensler pulled no punches against crypto in a testimony to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on March 29.
The meeting addressed the agency’s fiscal year 2024 budget request, and Gensler acknowledged the high pace of technological change. However, he was quick to attack the digital asset sector yet again with this sweeping statement:
“Further, 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.”
U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION CHAIR GARY GENSLER: AGENCY BUDGET MUST GROW ‘TO MEET THE MATCH OF BAD ACTORS’ – ADVANCE TEXT
GENSLER: CRYPTO MARKETS A ‘WILD WEST’ ‘RIFE WITH NON-COMPLIANCE’
— First Squawk (@FirstSquawk) March 29, 2023
“Wild West” of Crypto Markets
The SEC chair is a self-proclaimed “cop on the beat” who views his position as an enforcer rather than a regulator.
He is seeking a whopping $2.43 billion for the SEC to continue its enforcement actions against what it deems as “bad actors” in the crypto industry.
“Rapid technological innovation in the financial markets has led to misconduct in emerging and new areas, not least in the crypto space,” he said.
The budget will go towards funding an additional 170 positions, as well as full-year funding for those staff hired in 2023. The budget request for 2024 would support 5,139 full-time employees.
Gensler said the Division of Enforcement and Examinations accounts for about half of the SEC’s staff. It received more than 35,000 separate tips, complaints, and referrals from whistleblowers and others in 2022, he claimed.
Furthermore, the Enforcement Division brought more than 750 enforcement actions last year, resulting in orders for $6.4 billion in penalties and disgorgement.
The SEC has repeatedly been accused of extra-judicial enforcement and acting beyond its jurisdiction. After all, Congress has yet to roll out legislation covering crypto, and digital assets have yet to be legally classified as securities in the United States.
Market Momentum Moving
Crypto markets have shrugged off the repeated threats and action from Uncle Sam with a 2.4% gain on the day. This has wiped out all losses from the CFTC Binance lawsuit earlier this week.
As a result, total market capitalization had reached $1.22 trillion at the time of writing.
Bitcoin briefly topped $29,000 during the Thursday morning Asian trading session but had fallen back to $28,558 at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Ethereum was trading just below $1,800, according to CoinGecko.
PrimeXBT Special Offer: Use this link to register & enter CRYPTOPOTATO50 code to receive up to $7,000 on your deposits.