- Warren supports SEC's crypto regulation
- Calls for more resources for the regulator
- Praises SEC's enforcement actions.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has praised the efforts of the country's securities regulator, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and its chief, Gary Gensler, in policing the crypto industry. In an interview with the American Economic Liberties Project, Warren called for lawmakers to give the watchdog the necessary resources and powers to keep things going.
Gensler, who took charge of the SEC in 2021, has made a good start in addressing the crypto industry, according to Warren. She noted that Gensler has had to "put the genie back in the bottle and bring the crypto ecosystem into regulatory compliance" after former President Donald Trump's regulators "allowed it to explode." The senator also praised the commission's enforcement actions against celebrity crypto promoters such as Kim Kardashian and crypto exchanges like Coinbase for alleged insider trading.
Warren also highlighted the SEC's efforts to protect investors from crypto products and prevent "bitcoin exchange traded funds from hitting the market." She acknowledged that the industry is scared of a strong SEC and that is why it is spending millions of dollars each year lobbying to escape SEC oversight.
The senator has also been scrutinizing the collapse of prominent crypto exchange FTX in November last year, which sent ripples through the industry and doubled regulators' efforts to improve supervision. She has called for the exchange's founder Sam Bankman-Fried to be held accountable to the "fullest extent of the law."
"The SEC should double down and use its tools to enforce the rules and where the SEC needs more cops on the beat, then Congress needs to step up with the resources and the new authorities that are needed to make sure the SEC can do its work at full strength in every corner of the crypto market," Warren said. She also emphasized that all U.S. regulators must work together to police the many facets of the industry, including its environmental impact from mining activities.
It should be noted that Gensler has been criticized for allegedly holding meetings with Bankman-Fried, once Washington D.C.'s crypto darling and – for a time – the face of the crypto lobby. A CoinDesk investigation in January revealed one in three U.S. lawmakers had received donations from FTX before its collapse.
However, Warren took aim at the crypto lobby instead, stating that "Shady crypto players are lobbying hard in Washington" and that the SEC has been "loud and clear" that crypto shouldn't "get a pass" to avoid longstanding securities laws that protect investors and market integrity.