U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler reiterated to Congress this week that the SEC has no plans to ‘ban’ cryptocurrencies.
In a direct reply to North Carolina Congressperson Ted Budd regarding any considerations of banning crypto to promote a central banking digital currency, or CBDC, Gensler stated “no, that would be up to Congress.”
The statement came during a four-hour long hearing regarding crypto and DeFi.
The SEC Stance
Gensler’s remarks come just a week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell echoed similar sentiments. Powell told the House Financial Services Committee that the Fed had “no plans to ban” crypto.
However, Gensler did reiterate that crypto exchanges should register with the SEC, and that most crypto tokens will be viewed as securities. He also added that DeFi platforms are going to be subject to public policy.
Of course, any regulatory move to outright ‘ban’ cryptocurrency in the U.S. is surely more effort than the outcome would be worth. There are increasing amounts of legislators across the U.S. that are coming on-board with crypto, and exchange accessibility and utilization for U.S. consumers is increasing rapidly.
Lawmakers and regulators are ideally coming to terms with a set of facts that ring true for categories like sports gambling and marijuana: outright bans are a waste of time and resources, and everyone is generally better off working towards a healthy yet regulated marketplace.
A Push And Pull
The sentiment comes just days after the SEC extended the decision deadline around a number of Bitcoin ETFs. The commission has faced increased pressure to have some sort of regulatory stance, hands off or otherwise, around crypto. Gensler, meanwhile, has been relatively reserved in statements to the public about the future of crypto in the states. Our team at NewsBTC took a deep dive into a recent Gensler interview with the Washington Post that left many crypto spectators with more questions than answers.
The SEC was also engaging in a back-and-forth battle with Coinbase, leaving the crypto exchange with little traction to work with around their anticipated Coinbase Lend product. After SEC threats, Coinbase dropped the interest-yielding project, with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expressing frustration along the way.
The recent sentiments from Gensler and Powell do not eradicate any sort of potential hurdles for crypto, however. Coinbase also expressed concern about Congress’ infrastructure legislation in recent weeks. The full impacts, including potential tax implications, around that legislation and crypto are yet to be established.