Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Brian Quintenz argued that cryptocurrencies are commodities that his agency regulates.
That drew support from Chris Giancarlo, who recently stepped down as Chairman of the CFTC, as well as the Twitter account of the House Agriculture Committee’s Republican members.
The tweet also agreed with Gensler’s main point, saying “Congress needs to write the rules of the road to protect investors AND innovation in the digital economy.”
SEC Chair Calls For Clarity
He added that “the legislative priority should center on crypto trading, lending, and DeFi platforms,” and that regulators needed more “authority to write rules for and attach guardrails to crypto trading and lending.”
The problem, Gensler told the Forum audience, is that crypto “is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. There’s a great deal of hype and spin about how crypto assets work.”
He added that “in many cases, investors aren’t able to get rigorous, balanced, and complete information.”
Beyond that, Gensler warned that “large parts of the field of crypto are sitting astride of — not operating within — regulatory frameworks that protect investors and consumers, guard against illicit activity, ensure for financial stability, and yes, protect national security.”
To the extent that crypto is used to buy things, “it’s often to skirt our laws with respect to anti-money laundering, sanctions, and tax collection,” Gensler warned. “It also can enable extortion via ransomware, as we recently saw with Colonial Pipeline.”