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US SEC's Gary Gensler Shrugs Off Republicans' Reprimand

The SEC Chair defended the agency's approach while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee for the first time.

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Gary Gensler dismissed the criticism from Republican senators on the harsh posture that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken on crypto markets and questioned whether or not the business even wants to comply with the laws that the SEC has established.

The Republicans on the panel sent a letter to Gensler before the hearing in which they lambasted the SEC's supervision of digital assets and expressed their opposition to the hearing.

Particularly problematic for the legislators was his incessant urging of cryptocurrency trading sites to present themselves at the agency and register.

In a signed letter, US lawmakers noted, "You have failed to provide a path that allows digital asset trading platforms to register."

"Without clear rules of the road, your push for firms to ‘come in and register’ is a wilful misrepresentation of the SEC’s non-existent registration process. The only entity to blame for the lack of registrants is the SEC itself," read the letter.

But Gensler stated that many crypto tokens are basically merely unregistered securities, and the regulator has lately filed a series of high-profile enforcement cases.

Read more: SEC Chair Gary Gensler to Testify Over Crypto Asset Approach

Gensler during the testimony said, "It’s not a matter of lack of clarity. This is a field that, in the main, has built up around non-compliance, and that’s their business model."

Additionally, he stated that the agency may benefit from additional resources in order to better police the asset class.

Gensler stated, "There are more things to look at and investigate than we have people on the staff to do," indicating that there is a shortage of manpower.

SEC Calls Decentralized Crypto Platforms Exchanges

US SEC members convened last week to reopen public comment on a proposal to broaden the definition of an "exchange," making it clear that the agency's existing restrictions on exchanges apply, with some modifications, to decentralised cryptocurrency platforms.

After criticism from crypto businesses that the proposal was too ambiguous and geared at bringing in decentralised finance platforms, often known as DeFi platforms, which would not normally be subject to the regulator's jurisdiction, the SEC decided 3 to 2 to solicit additional views from the public.

Given how crypto trading platforms operate, many of them currently are exchanges, regardless of the reopening release we’re considering today,” “Investors in the crypto markets must receive the same time-tested protections that the securities laws provide in all other markets.”

Read more: SEC Declares Algorand a Security, Gensler Gets Rekt for Previously Shilling It

Users are able to lend, borrow, and save in digital assets through the usage of DeFi-platforms, which allows users to sidestep the conventional gatekeepers of finance like banks and exchanges.

Gensler said in a statement before a meeting to vote to reopen the plan for public comment on Friday. "Given how crypto trading platforms operate, many of them currently are exchanges, regardless of the reopening release we’re considering today."

"Investors in the crypto markets must receive the same time-tested protections that the securities laws provide in all other markets."

But it was unprecedented for the public vote to reopen the feedback session for another 30 days.

In most cases, the commission would make a decision about whether or not to extend the public comment time behind closed doors.

The ideological rift among the commissioners was on full display throughout the meeting, with both Republican commissioners voicing their disagreement.

Now Gensler is in the firing line even as he seeks more sway to have a say on crypto-related business.

Are Bitcoin & Ether Securities?

Gensler's testimony sheds light on whether or not Bitcoin tangentially meets the definition of security.

Attorney John Deaton has warned of potentially disastrous consequences after Chairman Gensler's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee.

The seasoned crypto lawyer warned that Gensler's assumption might have far-reaching consequences for the whole sector in a video lecture uploaded by the Twitter account @digitalassetbuy.

Deaton says, if you talk to the SEC about registering your cryptocurrency business, you may be trading in securities, according to comments made by Gensler.

Since taking over the commission's operations, Gensler has repeatedly emphasised that the current securities regulations are well-suited to the cryptocurrency sector.

Deaton said that initiatives that maintain a functional website are also eligible to be classified as a security-providing business.

According to the SEC chair's allegations, as underlined by Deaton, software projects that update their code often are sending signals that they may be securities.

Read more: Ethereum is a Security Again as NYAG Sues KuCoin Exchange

House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry demanded to know from the SEC's Jay Clayton if he classifies Ethereum as a security or a commodity during the hearing.

Despite Gensler's broad views on crypto assets, the top regulator was unable to provide a clear response to this topic.

Actually, according to Deaton, Bitcoin (BTC) may be affected if the definitions given out by the Gensler assumptions were extended.

Industry Leaders Urge Policymakers to Address SEC's Take

After Gensler suggested that current securities regulations are sufficient for regulating the cryptocurrency business, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse encouraged US politicians to address the issue.

That was in response to Gensler's statement late in March that the SEC, and not the law, is responsible for defining what constitutes a security.

During a hearing in March on the House Appropriations Committee, Gensler told reporters that current securities rules "cover most of the activity that's happening in the crypto markets."

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