US SEC calls crypto ‘Wild West’ asks Congress for more powers

Aug 3, 2021

The chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday called on Congress to give the agency more power to rein in cryptocurrency trading, lending and platforms, a “Wild West” he said is riddled with fraud and investor risk, according to Reuters.

Gary Gensler said the crypto market involves many digital tokens which may be unregistered securities and leaves prices open to manipulation and millions of investors vulnerable to risks.

“This asset class is rife with fraud, scams and abuse in certain applications,” Gensler told a global conference. “We need additional congressional authorities to prevent transactions, products and platforms from falling between regulatory cracks.”

Cryptocurrencies reached a record capitalization of $2 trillion in April as more investors stocked their portfolios with digital tokens, but oversight of the market remains questionable and patchy.

On Tuesday, Gensler provided more insight on his thinking, saying he would like Congress to give the SEC the power to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges, which are not currently within the SEC’s remit.

He also called on lawmakers to give the SEC more power to oversee crypto lending, and platforms like peer-to-peer decentralized finance (DeFi) sites that allow lenders and borrowers to transact in cryptocurrencies without traditional banks.

copyright © 2021 Reuters

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