Gary Gensler, head of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, has confirmed that his agency does not have the authority or intention to ban cryptocurrency.
While responding to questions during a House Committee on Financial Services hearing on Tuesday, Gensler emphasized that prohibiting crypto does not fall within the SEC’s mandate, stating, “That would be up to Congress.”
“It’s a matter of how we get this field within the investor consumer protection that we have and also working with bank regulators and others — how do we ensure that the Treasury Department has it within Anti-Money Laundering, tax compliance,” Gensler said.
“Many of these tokens do meet the test of being an investment contract, or a note, or a security,” he added, emphasizing the need to bring crypto “within the investor protection remit of the SEC.”
Gensler also noted “the financial stability issues that stablecoins could raise” as a priority for the agency.
The hearing came on the same day that McHenry proposed the Clarity for Digital Tokens Act of 2021, which draws heavily on the safe harbor proposal put forward by the pro-crypto SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce in February 2020.
During the hearing, McHenry pressed Gensler on whether he had taken the time to review Peirce’s proposal. Gensler evaded answering whether he had reviewed Peirce’s proposal