The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee has advised the SEC to “aggressively” assert authority over crypto assets that are securities. The advisory committee believes that “virtually all, if not all, crypto tokens are securities,” urging the regulator to “make crypto asset-related enforcement a top priority.”
SEC Urged to ‘Aggressively’ Assert Authority Over Crypto Securities
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) submitted its view on the regulation of crypto assets to the SEC on Thursday. The committee was established under Section 911 of the Dodd-Frank Act to advise the securities watchdog on regulatory priorities.
In their letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, IAC Chair Christopher Mirabile and Vice Chair Leslie Van Buskirk explained that they are submitting the view articulated “as a consensus of the IAC members.” They wrote:
We believe that virtually all, if not all, crypto tokens are securities and that they, as well as the platforms and custodians dealing with them, are subject to regulation under the federal securities laws to protect investors.
Gensler also believes that all crypto tokens, other than bitcoin, are securities. He has repeatedly urged crypto trading and lending platforms to come in and register with the SEC.
“Many investors recently have suffered significant losses as a result of their investments in crypto assets. It is estimated that these losses have been more than $2 trillion,” the IAC letter details.
The committee further pointed out that numerous well-known cryptocurrency companies have either filed for bankruptcy or are on the verge of doing so, while others have faced both civil and criminal charges. The letter adds that crypto assets “have also been subject to notable levels of fraud and abuse” and “the semi-anonymous and borderless nature of crypto transactions make them well-suited for various illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion.”
Calling on the SEC to “Aggressively continue to assert authority over crypto assets that are securities” and “make crypto asset-related enforcement a top priority,” the IAC wrote:
The SEC should continue to be aggressive in bringing enforcement actions against companies that are violating the federal securities laws in the crypto space, including, issuers, custodians and those acting as unregistered platforms that offer trading in crypto asset investments.
In addition, the IAC advised the SEC to “Seek appropriate additional appropriations from Congress where needed to adequately oversee the crypto securities industry.”
Lastly, the advisory committee urged the SEC to continue to provide guidance on crypto assets, noting that the regulator should educate investors on crypto risks and conduct examinations of broker-dealers and investment advisors to ensure proper standards of care.
What do you think about the SEC Investor Advisory Committee urging the securities regulator to “aggressively” assert authority over “virtually all” crypto tokens? Let us know in the comments section below.