SEC Chair Gary Gensler Says Crypto Regulators Gearing Up To Investigate Misconduct Complaints

Gary Gensler, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says that new staff members at the agency will begin to focus on investigating crypto-related complaints of misconduct.

In a testimony to the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Gensler said that crypto markets are increasingly becoming a risk to public investors.

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“The highly volatile and speculative crypto marketplace has mushroomed, attracting tens of millions of American investors and traders. In 2016, there were an estimated 644 crypto tokens on the worldwide market. Five years later, that number had gone up more than tenfold. The volatility in the crypto markets in recent weeks highlights the risks to the investing public.”

Earlier this month, the SEC announced it was nearly doubling the size of its Crypto Assets Enforcement and Cyber Unit, to help keep up with the rapidly growing asset class.

In his speech on Wednesday, Gensler said the addition of new staff would be focused in part on strengthening the capability of the Unit and begin investigating a large amount of crypto-related complaints.

“Meanwhile, misconduct in emerging and new areas, from complex securities products to new financial technologies to crypto, requires new tools and expertise. The additional staff will provide the Division with more capacity to investigate misconduct and accelerate enforcement actions. It also will strengthen our litigation support, bolster the capabilities of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, and investigate the tens of thousands of tips, complaints, and referrals we receive from the public.”

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