SEC Chair Gary Gensler Faces Criticism for Cryptocurrency Regulation Approach

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Crypto-friendly Congressman Tom Emmer has accused U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler of acting in bad faith as a regulator in the cryptocurrency space. Emmer’s comments came during an April 7 appearance on the Unchained podcast, where he called into question Gensler’s ‘open door policy’ and his approach to enforcement actions within the industry.

Emmer’s Critique on Gensler: A “Bad Faith Regulator”

During the Unchained podcast, hosted by crypto journalist Laura Shin, Congressman Emmer expressed his concerns over Gensler’s performance as the head of the SEC. He criticized the SEC Chair for taking what he perceived as indiscriminate enforcement actions against the crypto community while overlooking the real bad actors in the space.

Emmer used Coinbase as an example of a company that sought to work with the SEC by asking for compliance feedback on its staking products, among other matters. Despite these efforts, the SEC issued a Wells Notice to the company in March, suggesting that Gensler’s supposed ‘open door policy’ is more akin to an “enter-at-your-own-risk door.”

Since taking over as the SEC Chair in April 2021, Gensler has repeatedly claimed that the agency maintains an open-door policy, urging crypto firms to register with the SEC and comply with securities law. This stance stems from Gensler’s belief that nearly all crypto assets, except for Bitcoin (BTC), should be classified as securities and primarily regulated by the SEC.

However, this position has been criticized by industry leaders such as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, who have both expressed their difficulties in dealing with the SEC.

Regulation by Enforcement: An Anti-Crypto Approach

Many in the crypto community have raised concerns about the SEC’s apparent ‘regulation by enforcement’ approach, which they perceive as being anti-crypto. 

Commenting on this issue, Emmer argued that such a method is not how the government should serve the American people. It sends the broader crypto community a clear message that Gensler is not regulating in good faith.

Congressman Tom Emmer’s remarks highlight the growing concerns within the cryptocurrency community regarding the SEC’s approach to regulation under Gary Gensler’s leadership. As the industry continues to evolve, it remains to be seen whether the SEC will adapt its approach to better address the needs of this rapidly changing landscape.

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