The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday said his agency has the authority it needs to oversee the crypto industry, as calls increase in Washington for rules to prevent another FTX-like blowup.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said “we’re already suited up” when asked about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. In it, she asserted that the agency has fallen “far behind” in enforcement actions.
“I feel that we have enough authority, I really do, in this space,” Gensler said. The SEC chief also said crypto “storefronts, or casinos, need to come into compliance with our time-tested laws.”
A variety of proposals by Washington lawmakers have been thrust into the spotlight in the wake of the FTX collapse, but it is not at all clear which, if any, will clear Congress.
Warren is reportedly working on a sweeping bill that would hand the SEC most of the regulatory authority over the market. Warren’s office is looking at a range of crypto-related issues, including regulations, taxation, climate and national security, according to a report in Semafor.
In her Wall Street Journal op-ed, Warren said Congess should back up regulators like the SEC with more funding.
Meanwhile, Sens. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, and John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican, have authored legislation that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulatory power over the crypto industry. Sam Bankman-Fried, who has resigned as chief executive of FTX, was a supporter of that legislation.
Sens. Cynthia Lummis, a Wyoming Republican, and Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, have a separate bill that would create a regulatory framework for digital assets.
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Gensler did say the SEC could benefit from a larger budget, as well as “maybe a little more extraterritorial reach” overseas.