During a Wednesday hearing, Congressman Tom Emmer revealed that he is not crypto’s neutral regulator to the SEC chair.
On Wednesday, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairperson, Gary Gensler, appeared before the Housing Financial Services Committee (HFSC). This happened for the first time since a judge’s decision in August to support Grayscale in its appeal against the agency.
Gensler’s aggressive handling of the crypto markets has always evoked criticism from the committee’s chairman, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and other crypto proponents. Today’s condemnations were extremely sharp.
Procrypto Legislators Criticize Gensler’s Efforts to Suppress Digital Asset Ecosystem
In the hearing’s open statement, McHenry revealed to Gensler that their patience was running out. Besides, he claimed that Gensler’s efforts to suppress the digital asset ecosystem are apparent to everyone. He was also accused of causing ‘further misunderstanding and permanent damage’ via his deeds, and his agency was criticized due to its ‘losing record’ in the courts.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has often been condemned for not vividly expressing its perspectives regarding particular digital assets’ link to security regulations prior to initiating lawsuits against crypto exchanges and issuers. McHenry revealed that in 2018, Genser considered Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin non-securities. This is despite his perspectives on some coins being less vivid.
Gensler Accused of Developing Regulatory Ambiguity
During the hearing, Gensler claimed that Bitcoin fails to meet the Howey test, which is the custom of being an investment product. He also claimed he would consider it a security.
Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) was more critical and condemned Gensler for developing regulatory ambiguity that has been more beneficial to major crypto industry firms and excluded startups. Further, he highlighted Gensler’s 18-year history with Goldman Sachs, the TradeFi banking behemoth, where he amassed most of his riches.
Gensler’s Neutrality Questioned as Legislators Accuse Him of Strangling US Crypto Ecosystem
Emmer told the chairman that despite his years of rhetoric, he was not persuaded that he is a neutral regulator. Rather, it is evident that he was seeking to merge his power even if it meant eliminating opportunities for everyday U.S. citizens and the nation’s financial future.
He also mentioned the SEC’s current court losses against companies such as Grayscale and Ripple. In this case, he claimed that they were revealing his lack of legal authority to achieve the objective of killing competition in the financial markets. Emmer added that Gensler’s common career theme has been persistent loyalty to the biggest financial firms to the detriment of competition, innovation and everyday U.S. citizens.
Democrat Cites Recent Crypto Failures to Support SEC’s Crackdown Targeting Noncompliant Crypto
Unlike Emmer and McHenry, Maxine Waters (D-CA), HFSC ranking member, praised Gensler’s actions and shifted her anger to the Republican party. She claimed their patience was running out in her opening statement directed at her political opposition.
Citing previous major crypto failures, for instance, those involving Terra and FTX, she accentuated the agency’s actions in closing down crypto companies and retrieving funds for affected investors.
She also said that she wanted to ensure that the opposite side of the aisle responsible for safeguarding crypto firms in various ways knows what it is doing.
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