In the wake of major crypto firms Celsius and Voyager freezing assets and filing for bankruptcy, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler went to The Wall Street Journal’s opinion piece pages to reiterate that securities laws still apply to new technologies such as digital assets.
But some in the crypto industry have expressed frustration with the piece, advocating stronger guidelines and not repetitions of well-known arguments.
Gensler compared automakers to crypto lending platforms as a way of claiming that both consumers and investors deserve protection, be it in a motorcycle or investment vehicle. While cars have evolved over the decades, required safety features remain standard, he noted.
Gensler reiterated his goal of applying existing securities laws — which are intended to protect investors — to digital assets.
“I agree with Chairman Gensler’s comments,” Michael Fasanello, chief compliance officer at LVL, told londonbusinessblog.com. “Non-compliance will – as we have seen with the SEC, [Office of Foreign Assets Control]and [The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] — face aggressive enforcement. Just because the modality of finance changes doesn’t mean that regulatory compliance obligations suddenly disappear. Innovation is not a waiver of responsibility.”
But until demands are made on the crypto industry, platforms must remain in limbo. Gensler’s opinion yielded no new information, Katherine Dowling, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Bitwise Asset Management, told londonbusinessblog.com.