Crypto firms have been accusing the SEC of failing to offer clear rules — but chairman Gary Gensler disagrees.
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Crypto firms have been accusing the SEC of failing to offer clear rules — but chairman Gary Gensler disagrees. Speaking in Congress, he argued further guidance isn't necessary — especially for tokens that lack full decentralization. Gensler said: "Frankly, of the 10,000 or 12,000 tokens, there are very few that don't have a group of entrepreneurs in the middle that the public's counting on. So those are securities." He went on to warn there's "a lot of non-compliance" among crypto exchanges, and they need to follow existing rules. That's a position that'll infuriate Coinbase, which is accusing the SEC of regulation through enforcement. Brian Armstrong believes the agency is being unfair and unreasonable in its dealings with U.S. crypto firms.
Gensler is asking for $200 million in additional funding for the upcoming fiscal year — and says the SEC's work to catch bad actors in the crypto space has left the agency "stretched thin." Figures from Cornerstone Research reveal that the SEC brought 127 enforcement actions related to crypto between 2013 and 2022 — and activity is ramping up. But it seems some U.S. politicians have sympathy with Coinbase's stance. Republican Steve Womack, who chairs the committee where Gensler was answering questions, said: "After years of funding increases, we have an SEC that is heavy-handed with enforcement and examinations, and one that doesn't think twice about proposing new regulations to completely rethink our markets."
When Celsius Network froze withdrawals and went bust, it had a direct impact on other crypto firms in the space. One of them was Paxful, which ran its Earn program through the doomed lender. And for many months, their customers have been locked out of their funds. But not for much longer. Paxful's CEO, Ray Youssef, has now announced that the company is going to make all of its customers whole. He added: "Bitcoin is a tool for wealth preservation, and for many, this was money they depended on for their future. Earning your trust is an absolute honor and it's a responsibility that I take very seriously." The entrepreneur said all affected Paxful users will be reunited with their Celsius funds by the end of this week — and he apologized for the ordeal.
A member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot has been placed on the country's most wanted list. And Nadya Tolokonnikova claims a non-fungible token she created is being used as evidence. The feminist punk rocker had created a work called "Virgin Mary, Please Become a Feminist" — but this is an offense under Russian law because it "hurts religious feelings." In a defiant statement posted on Instagram, Tolokonnikova says political artists risk their personal safety for the sake of what they do. She wrote: "The Ukraine flag NFT for Ukraine DAO was sold for close to $7 million and the crypto community rallied around it — we sent funds on the ground to Ukraine, we saved lives. I'm sure Putin didn’t like that either."
Matt Damon was mocked pretty mercilessly for declaring "fortune favors the brave" in adverts for Crypto.com. Even South Park did a skit. And now, in a rather awkward interview with the AP, the Hollywood actor has revealed what motivated him to sign up. The answer is more wholesome than you think. Damon explained that his charity, Water.org, was having a bad year — and he donated his whole fee from the campaign. But the good news doesn't stop there. "Crypto.com heard about that and they gave $1 million to Water.org," he said. "Completely, just on their own. So I definitely have a lot of gratitude to them and for what they did for our foundation." How many other celebrities have used the cash they've received from crypto ads for good causes?