SEC Needs More Power From Congress To Regulate Cryptocurrency, Says Official

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Representation. Scott Quinn Berkett allegedly paid $13,000 worth of bitcoin to order a hit from a murder-for-hire service from the dark web.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said Tuesday that congressional action is needed to grant additional regulating powers to the massive cryptocurrency market.

Gensler is concerned about the crypto market’s unregulated nature and the risks it may bring to investors.

“This asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. We need additional Congressional authorities to prevent transactions, products, and platforms from falling between regulatory cracks,” he said

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has expressed similar concerns about the growing crypto market and has asked the FSOC, SEC, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to crack down on cryptocurrency.

“As the demand for cryptocurrency continues to grow and these assets become more embedded into our financial system, consumers, the environment, and our financial system are under growing threats,” Warren wrote in a letter to Yellen on July 27.

Cryptocurrencies reached a record capitalization of $2 trillion in April as consumers continue to invest in the growing market. 

Gensler and Warren share many business experts' concerns about cryptocurrencies' unregulated and volatile nature. Investing in the crypto market could be risky since digital currency is not backed by centralized banks so a loss in confidence means a loss in value. There are no consumer protections, so victims of fraud who have had their accounts hacked and stolen lose that money forever. 

The Federal Trade Commission reported earlier this year that consumers lost $80 million in crypto scams between October and March, targeting their victims on social media. Gensler worries if the issues with the growing crypto market are not addressed a lot of people will get hurt. 

Bitcoin was trading at $38,338.08 as of Tuesday at 6:46 p.m. ET. 

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