SEC Chair Gary Gensler: Crypto is Rife With ‘Fraud, Scams and Abuse’

Sahana Kiran
Source – Cryptopolitan

The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] has played a significant role in the cryptocurrency industry, often known for its adversarial stance towards the sector. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently advocated for an additional $72 million in funding to strengthen investor protection in the crypto markets. Gensler expressed to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations that the agency requires expansion to effectively address noncompliance issues within the crypto industry. Gensler seized the opportunity to condemn the industry. He emphasized that it is filled with “fraud, scams, and abuse.”

The SEC Chair further said,

“We’ve seen the Wild West of the crypto markets, rife with noncompliance, where investors have put hard-earned assets at risk in a highly speculative asset class. With funding to meet the scale of our mission, we can be an even stronger advocate for the American public—investors and issuers alike.”

However, during the hearing, Gensler faced a barrage of questions concerning the collapse of the crypto exchange. Senator John Kennedy [R-La.] questioned Gensler about why the SEC didn’t take preventive action to address the alleged fraud at FTX. He argued,

“Here’s [SBF] who did everything but buy Mount Rushmore and you weren’t curious where this guy’s getting this money? Where was the SEC?”

Also Read: U.S. SEC, CFTC Can Work Together on Crypto Rules: Caroline Pham

SEC eyes expansion

According to Gensler, the SEC is currently seeking an additional $72 million to bring in several full-time staff members. As of 2023, the agency had a workforce of 4,685 individuals. Nearly half of them are assigned to enforcement and examination assignments. With the proposed funding, the SEC aims to add 170 positions and provide full-year funding for staff hired in 2023. This could further increase the total number of full-time employees at the agency to 5,139.

This comes after the committee’s recent approval of a bipartisan bill to allocate $2.364 billion for the SEC in fiscal year 2024. Gensler contended that this funding would only cover the existing authorized staffing levels, taking inflation into account. The SEC Chair added,

“With funding to meet the scale of our mission, we can be an even stronger advocate for the American public—investors and issuers alike. Stamping out fraud, manipulation, and abuse lowers risk in the system.”

Also Read: SEC Chair “Disappointed” By Court Ruling in Ripple Case